service award celebrates community impact
(ATHENS, Ohio— Dec. 10, 2013) COMCorps, the AmeriCorps program at
the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine,
received the 2013 Outstanding National and Community Service Program
award as part of the ServeOhio Awards.
“It is an award we can share with everyone: alumni, supervisors,
members and volunteers. They all rally around us. This award is not
just about us, but it is about everyone who has worked to get us to
this point,” Lauren Borovicka, COMCorps program coordinator, said.
The ServeOhio Awards recognize the achievements of individuals and
organizations that make outstanding contributions to their
communities and the state through service and volunteerism.
The Outstanding National and Community Service Program award honors
the program that best exemplifies the spirit of national and
community service and demonstrates high impact. In its 13-year
history, COMCorps has partnered with schools, government and
nonprofit agencies, and Ohio University to provide services that
promote health, prevent disease and improve access to medical care
in the Athens County area. COMCorps’ mission is to provide health
education and access to health care and health screenings for
children and families in Athens County.
“This program is the strongest it has ever been as far as true
measurable impact,” Borovicka said. “We have joined forces with a
number of organizations in the area to bring about change in this
community where health is concerned, and we have been a strong
partner in that movement.”
ServeOhio Award winners are chosen based on the nominee’s
accomplishments, quantifiable data to demonstrate impact, and
letters of support from individuals who are familiar with the
nominee’s service activity.
William Hall, executive director of ServeOhio, said, “COMCorps is a
quintessential example for an effective AmeriCorps program. Great
community impact, strong local partnerships and members that truly
value the ethic of service – it is exactly what the ServeOhio Award
is designed to represent.”
Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community
Service, presented the award to Borovicka and COMCorps member Ryan
Leach. Borovicka said receiving the award from Spencer, her role
model, was a great moment for her personally, but the highlight was
reading letters of support for COMCorps. “Hearing the stories about
the impact we have had in this community touched me deeply, and that
alone has been enough to validate everything we do,” Borovicka said.
Working alongside long-term supervisors and volunteers, COMCorps
members serve 11-month service terms during which they supervise
volunteer efforts and deliver health-related programs and implement
health-related projects in schools and agencies.
Borovicka attributes the overwhelming volunteer and member support
to strong relationships with Ohio University, Hocking College and
other area educational institutions. “As we start to tackle issues
facing this community, we know that we can’t do it alone. It takes a
force. These volunteers are willing to work in meaningful ways
alongside our members, and both come out with a whole other vision
of the hurdles we are facing in Appalachia.”