Who We Are
Jennifer Cowart has been involved with AmeriCorps for over 20 years. She began as a Teach For America AmeriCorps member teaching middle school special education students in the Rio Grande Valley. She was the Director of two Texas based AmeriCorps programs, each of which had 100 members. Her first Director position was with AmeriCorps Youth Harvest that engaged 100 high school seniors as tutors and mentors. Her second Director position was with Communities In Schools of Central Texas. In her current role, Jennifer is a consultant with extensive experience coaching and training AmeriCorps grantees in compliance and high quality program elements, supporting them in developing systems, documents, and processes to ensure a foundation of AmeriCorps program success. Jennifer has also presented at many state, regional, and national conferences and delivered web-based trainings on various AmeriCorps-specific topics including performance measurements, understanding key rules and regulations, member files, and more. In addition, Jennifer lived and worked in Malawi, Africa for three years where she facilitated professional development for 168 schools and initiated the creation of a disability toolkit for teachers which was distributed to all Malawi primary schools. Outside of her professional world, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her husband, children and extended family along with traveling.
Amy Salinas has spent the last 24 years working in the fields of national service, volunteerism, community development, and youth development and leadership. In this work, she has facilitated teams and strategic planning, developed curriculum, delivered trainings, coached organizations and programs, written grants and secured funding, and worked individually and within teams to support program development and management, organization capacity building, increased leadership and civic engagement, and community change work. Within national service, Amy started off as an AmeriCorps Member where she served in Arlington, Texas, worked for that same program, and worked for the Texas Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service as a Program Officer, Training Specialist, and Disability Inclusion Specialist. For the last 14 years, Amy has worked as a consultant within the national service family where she works to develop the capacity of individuals, groups and organizations for the purpose of making change. Her national service client list includes State Commissions, AmeriCorps National Programs, AmeriCorps State Programs, the Corporation for National and Community Service, National Service Inclusion Project, MBI, Inc, and much more. Amy has a Masters in both Social Work and Urban Affairs. Amy places a great importance on personal and professional balance and outside of her professional world, spends her time with her husband raising their children.
Amy Porter has been involved with AmeriCorps since 2006. Her passion for national service began with her CalSERVES AmeriCorps service and later staff placement. Following her two AmeriCorps terms of service and staff work, she started an alternative co-op homeschool in Ormond Beach, FL and taught 5-year old Kindergarten in Milwaukee, WI. She then went on to receive a Master’s degree in Educational Policy and Foundations from Marquette University and to work as a Serve Wisconsin Program Officer. This diverse experience of mentor, administrator, teacher, facilitator, trainer, grant writer, researcher, and program officer created an assorted skill set and passion for national service. When she is not AmeriFocused she enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors, playing ice hockey, and gardening.