Philadelphia, April 7, 2015 — Mayor Michael A. Nutter was joined by more than 2,600 mayors across the country in celebrating the third annual Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service, an initiative he announced during his presidential address at the 81st convening of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) in Washington, D.C., in January 2013


“As a member of national organizations like USCM and NLC that represent cities, I work with mayors from both sides of the aisle to find practical solutions to the problems we face in our cities and towns,” said Mayor Nutter. “My colleagues and I agree that there are few resources more cost effective than America’s national service programs.  AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers are central to the fabric of Philadelphia.  Day after day, they roll up their sleeves and get to work addressing education and job readiness, food insecurity, the needs of veterans and military families, recovery after natural disasters, and more.  Simply put, their service is essential to the current and future success of our city and our nation.”


The Mayor created this award to recognize the tremendous contributions currently serving AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps Volunteers give to the city of Philadelphia.  In addition, he wanted to recognize AmeriCorps and Peace Corps alumni who have continued their life of service in Philadelphia as non-profit executives, city government leaders, social entrepreneurs, and corporate citizens.


The Mayor’s Award for Distinguished AmeriCorps Service went to Alaina Billing from Jumpstart Philadelphia. Alaina is in her second term as an AmeriCorps member with Jumpstart Philadelphia and won this award for her dedication to the children in North Philadelphia. She’s recruited and trained more than 126 volunteers to serve over 700 children in North Philly.  She also runs the Reader’s Program which connects 4th graders with kindergarten and first grade classes to provide reading support.


The Mayor’s Award for Distinguished Senior Corps Service went to Betty Robinson. Betty is a former AmeriCorps member and current Senior Companion. She dedicates much of her time to provide companionship to elderly and homebound seniors. She’s the first to say that her service in Senior Corps has given her life more meaning.


The Mayor’s Award for Distinguished Service by a Recent Alumnus/a of AmeriCorps went to Christa Rossi from Jumpstart Philadelphia. Christa is the current site manager at Jumpstart Philadelphia. A Jumpstart alumnus, Christa has grown Philadelphia’s Jumpstart site rapidly and worked to support and strengthen relationships with key non-profit and city partners. She’s known as a tireless worker who’s dedicated to providing the best education to the children in North Philadelphia.


The Mayor’s Award for Distinguished Service by an Experienced Alumnus/a of AmeriCorps went to Kenneth Manns of The Free Library of Philadelphia. Ken originally served as a member in the National School and Community Corps from 1998 to 200. Ken now works as Volunteer Director at The Free Library and has worked tirelessly on literacy engagement activities, re-opening eight closed school libraries and oversaw an overall record of 128,000 volunteer hours completed, earning him a chance to make a formal Address on Volunteerism at the White House in 2008.


Finally, the Mayor’s Award for Distinguished Service by a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer went to  Alexandra Shirreffs of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Alex served as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Cote’ D Ivoire and Madagascar from 2002 to 2003 and is currently in her fifth year at the Department of Public Health as a Viral Hepatitis Coordinator. Alex has lead a wide range of activities aimed at improving medical care and support systems from people with Hepatitis B and C. She is also the founder of the Hepatitis C Allies of Philadelphia to improve HCV testing, care and treatment services


The Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service was initiated by Mayor Nutter in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), Cities of Service, the National League of Cities, and other organizations. Mayor Nutter was instrumental in recruiting a bipartisan group of 832 mayors in all 50 states—including six in Pennsylvania—to participate in this first-ever Day of Recognition in 2013.


For more information, and to view a list of Outstanding Nominees in each category, please visit

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release
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