AmeriCorps Volunteers Reflect on Time at Nazareth

Posted by Kacie Emmerson

July 14, 2023

After a year of dedicated service, AmeriCorps volunteers Brenden Dines and Julia Cordts were given a farewell celebration on July 11, 2023.

Their commitment, passion, and hard work have made a lasting impact at Nazareth. As they transition into the next chapter of their lives, it’s important to recognize and celebrate their contributions.

Brenden, a native of Ohio, came to Nazareth in September and has worked closely with Ecological Sustainability Directory Carolyn Cromer. Throughout the year, Brenden has addressed invasive plant species on campus, conducted research, worked on graphic design projects and sustainability workshops, and created signage for a grove of trees celebrating the campus’ 200-year anniversary.

He also participated in several community events on campus, dressing as the Easter Bunny for an egg hunt, building cardboard dinosaurs for a Halloween event, and recently helping conduct a nature day camp for area children. Some of Brenden’s work also took place off campus, with volunteer trips, conferences and site visits.

Brenden, left, helps out with a summer camp for kids, held at Nazareth on July 12.

“The Charism you have taught me throughout the year really has impacted my idea of what it means to serve,” Brenden told the Sisters. “I will never forget this year.” 

With his time at Nazareth at an end, Brenden will remain involved with the campus. He recently accepted a position as the new Site Director for AmeriCorps in the greater Cincinnati region, which will include visits to Nazareth to check in on new volunteers, and recruiting members for placement. 

Julia Cordts came in shortly after Brenden and has spent the year working closely with Sister Joetta Venneman in the Office of Social and Environmental Justice. While here, she served as an environmental awareness educator.

Julia spent much of her time working on presentations covering various topics that interested her, such as Environmental Justice and Public Health and the Clean Water Act. She also had a chance to work with kids on various activities, including community events and educational activities at the local public library. 

Like Brenden, Julia spent some of her service off campus, including volunteering on a house build in Beattyville, Kentucky. In addition to working with Sister Joetta, Julia worked with the SCN Laymission Volunteer program staff and the Office of Mission Advancement on projects. 

Julia said her time at Nazareth has helped her better consider what she wants to do in the future. Now that the year has ended, she will continue her higher education.

This was the third year the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth have hosted AmeriCorps members, and new volunteers are anticipated in the future, including a new member joining Cromer for the coming year.


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