United Way of Metro Chicago is committed to empowering our neighbors to create the change they hope to see in their community. Our AmeriCorps program is one way we’re doing so. This year, seven United Way-AmeriCorps volunteers will work directly in our Neighborhood Network communities and with our United Way team to make a bigger impact on our region. We’re celebrating these new members as they kick off their year of service this week.

Learn more about our 2020-21 AmeriCorps team below!

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Samuel Gamino | Youth Crossroads in Cicero Neighborhood Network

“A true leader adapts and learns from the environment they are in and perseveres through to obtain peace.”

Motorcycle enthusiast Samuel Gamino will work with United Way’s agency partner Youth Crossroads in Cicero. They provide youth development programs, leadership development and general support to youth and young adults. Samuel’s favorite Chicago-area neighborhood is Pilsen because of its culture, food and location near “the Heart of Chicago.” Sam looks forward to engaging with the community through his new role with United Way.


Josh Simmons | Community Impact Dept. at United Way of Metro Chicago

“Leading with love and spirituality by working to dismantle social injustices in black and brown communities in a unique way, while also educating others on the truth.”

Chatham-native Josh will work with United Way’s Community Impact Team in his new role. After seeing friends of his work with AmeriCorps, he was inspired to do the same. Josh looks forward to going into our Neighborhood Networks and meeting community leaders and assisting in making their job just a little easier. Josh says “ community means understanding that you are only as strong as the most vulnerable in your area. With this in mind, it is important to know and understand the stories of all the people within the community.” 


Jazeline Rodriguez | Brighton Park Neighborhood Council in the Brighton Park Neighborhood Network

“Be the leader that envisions authentic service to bring justice around the world.”

The Brighton Park Neighborhood Council welcomes Jazeline as she joins its team to promote its mission of creating a safer community, improving learning and supporting Chicago’s southwest-side residents. Jazeline felt like the AmeriCorps program was the missing piece in her journey of giving and meeting critical needs of others. She looks forward to meeting with law enforcement to discuss their relationship with residents with mental illness. Jazeline says “community is a foundation of love and hope.”


Jessica Jones | Marketing/Communications Dept. at United Way of Metro Chicago

“To build a community based on trust and mutual respect, that will create vulnerable and safe spaces for others to lead.”

Jessica, a black-belt in karate, is joining the United Way of Metro Chicago’s Marketing and Communications team as a journalist who will share the stories of our Neighborhood Network communities. Jessica looks forward to meeting new people across Chicago to magnify their voices and their stories. Growing up in Auburn Gresham, Jessica was exposed to social activism from a young age. She says “community means being whole…It creates a family outside of your own family and it is a part of what makes you who you are.”


Tate Samata | Marketing/Communications Dept. at United Way of Metro Chicago

“To strive for equality through action, foster trust, and dig for truth – with perseverance and humility.”

Tate joins the United Way of Metro Chicago’s Marketing and Communications team to tell stories in the Austin Neighborhood Network and other communities. Tate says community is “an environment that is inclusive, inspires growth and strength, and makes me feel a part of something bigger than myself. She looks forward to exploring the community by telling meaningful, truthful and authentic stories about community members’ lived experiences. Tate’s favorite neighborhood is Uptown because it offers diversity, cultural wealth and is home to the Riviera Theater.


Alicya Dennison | Evanston Cradle to Career in the Evanston Neighborhood Network

“Fostering communal relations that promote financial stability, well-being and connectedness to ensure success on both individual and collective levels via humor.”


Tevin Glasper | Community Impact Dept. at United Way of Metro Chicago 

“To create the future by caring in the present.”