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AmeriCorps Announces Video And Photo Contest Winners!

September 28, 2009

The Corporation for National and Community Service announced the winners of its 2009 AmeriCorps Video and Photo contest before hundreds of program directors gathered at the annual AmeriCorps grantee meeting in Washington D.C. last week. Here’s the video winner!

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Linda Raynes, a second-year AmeriCorps member serving with Plus Time New Hampshire AmeriCorps, won first place for her video “Use These,” which highlights the ways AmeriCorps members change their communities through service.  Sarah Bass, who served two AmeriCorps terms with Teach for America in Los Angeles, won first place in the photo division for her picture “Sowing Seeds of Hope, which captures the experience of AmeriCorps by showing the hands of a 12-year-old holding seeds of wheat before planting.

The contest was part of the third annual AmeriCorps Week, a national recruitment and recognition event that took place May 9 through 16. The contest, which was open solely to AmeriCorps members and alums, drew more than 40 video and 325 photo submissions.  All of the entries can be viewed at the AmeriCorps Video and Photo Contest website at

Sarah Bass took a fable about planting seeds as the inspiration for her first-place photograph. “The seeds represent the hope that got me out of bed and to my classroom every morning, even on the hard days. Why? Because the investments made today, no matter how small, give potential to tomorrow. That was my vision; that’s the vision of AmeriCorps,” she said.

Like the winning photo, the “Use These” video placed a special emphasis on using one’s hands— the “tools” one is already equipped with—to serve. “When I did the project, I was trying to capture the spirit of what our program did, helping the community and working with kids.” Raynes serves at the Seymour Osman Community Center in Dover, NH.

Mary Gordon, who served with AmeriCorps NCCC Class XV at the Sacramento Campus, took second place in the video contest for “Words into Action.” Blake Brown, currently serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with HandsOn Bay Area in San Francisco, garnered third place with “Getting Things Done.”

Zoe Zulakis, currently serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Montana Justice Foundation after completing a previous term with the Montana Conservations Corps, took second place in the photo contest with “On Top of the World.” Another Montana Conservation Corps alum, Mark Genito, won third place for his photo “Trail Work.”

Great job soon to be Alums!

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