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May 2022 Newsletter

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Volunteer Iowa Awards Ceremony

On Thursday, April 21, the Volunteer Iowa Awards Ceremony was held at the Iowa State Capitol. Eight individuals and one group were inducted into the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame. Two individuals were honored at the ceremony by receiving the Excellence in Mentoring award.

The Volunteer Hall of Fame inductees stepped up to answer urgent needs in their communities. Their combined decades of volunteer service included collecting clothing, preparing and delivering meals and providing hospice and grief support to individuals and families in need. They aided refugee families resettling from Iraq and Afghanistan, improved the safety and accessibility of county parks for all residents, and developed outreach strategies to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations to marginalized communities. They have gone above and beyond to ensure thousands of Iowans and communities across the world have access to food, medicine, and education, support Iowans living with disabilities, and deliver medical services to those for whom it is often unattainable. These outstanding volunteers committed countless hours to community improvement activities. Collectively, these honorees have raised millions of dollars for their causes, ranging from county fairs and county-wide meal delivery to resources and supports for people living with disabilities and end-of-life care to providing medicine, education, and tools for development across the world. And perhaps most importantly, they have shared the spirit of service with others, training and connecting volunteers to service opportunities both in their communities here in Iowa and around the world. Learn more about the 2022 Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame inductees at

The two individuals who received the 2022 Excellence in Mentoring awards have positively impacted the lives and families of the young people they mentor, as well as their own, often leading to a change in the trajectory of the lives of all involved. They have also actively and consistently recruited other mentors, growing the impact of mentoring in their communities. To learn more about the 2022 Excellence in Mentoring awardees and their mentees, visit

Volunteer Iowa and Iowa AmeriCorps Program Staff Attend National Service Training Conference

Iowa was well represented at last week’s National Service Training Conference in Milwaukee. This event was hosted by America's Service Commissions (ASC) in partnership with Serve Wisconsin. Many of Iowa’s AmeriCorps program staff and Volunteer Iowa staff were able to engage with AmeriCorps agency colleagues and volunteer engagement partners to share and learn from one another.

AmeriCorps state and national program staff had the opportunity to have a dialogue with AmeriCorps leadership. AmeriCorps CEO, Michael D. Smith, and Director of AmeriCorps State and National, Sonali Nijhawan, took questions from the audience. Several AmeriCorps program staff from across the region raised questions about member living allowance, member term limits, enrollment of diverse members, and more. ASC has several working groups and learning communities working together to provide feedback and innovative solutions to AmeriCorps leadership and having the chance to talk to them directly was a very impactful moment for our programs.

Iowa AmeriCorps state program staff met as a group in-person for the first time since 2019! During the meeting program staff shared highlights from sessions and learnings they plan to implement in their own programs. Key topics discussed included member orientation and engagement, member and site supervisor accountability, program financial management, and member recruitment strategies. We always have a great time meeting with state service commissions and AmeriCorps program staff from other states to grow our own programming and share innovations.

Introducing Future Ready Iowa Intern Megan Groathouse

Hello, my name is Megan Groathouse! I grew up in Waukee, Iowa, but I am now living in Ames, where I attend Iowa State University. I am double majoring in Advertising and International Studies and triple minoring in Data Science, Digital Media, and German. I have spent the last 2 ½ years working as a website assistant for the College of Human Sciences at Iowa State. I made website updates, worked with
Google analytics, managed social media, etc. In my free time I love to run, watch movies (especially Marvel), and do activities with the Pay It Forward club at Iowa State.

Meet New VISTA Leader Bob Mulqueen

Bob Mulqueen starts with Volunteer Iowa as VISTA leader on May 9. Bob is a bi-coastal Iowan whose father’s family has been in Council Bluffs since 1872 and whose mother’s family has been in Dubuque since before anyone can remember.

Since graduating from Creighton University (in the paleolithic era) with a B.A. in American History and from Iowa State University with a Master of Public Administration degree, Mulqueen has worn more hats than Bartholomew Cubbins. He served as a VISTA Volunteer in steel towns in the Pittsburgh area, as a night watchman at a demolition site, as a staffer in the Iowa Senate, as very junior staffer for a U.S. Senator, a slightly older staffer for a U.S. Representative, as an educational system’s fundraiser, as a lobbyist and policy staffer for the Iowa State Association of Counties, as lobbyist and energy policy
staffer for the Iowa Environmental Council, and as policy director for the Iowa Office of Energy Independence.

Bob lives in Des Moines and is married to a very patient woman.

8th Annual Give Back Iowa Challenge

The 8th Annual Give Back Iowa Challenge began on Friday, April 1. The Give Back Iowa Challenge is an eight-week statewide challenge, which serves as a competitive way to encourage organizations and businesses alike to participate in community volunteering. The Challenge runs from April 1st through May 31st. It's not too late to participate in the challenge - it’s simple; register your organization, track the volunteer hours of your employees over the two-month period, record those hours on our system, and celebrate your employees and their dedication to volunteerism!

There are a wide variety of volunteer options that can help support your community, from large group activities to coaching a child’s team. All of them can be counted towards the challenge! Volunteer opportunities in your area can be found at

Register your business or organization today! Questions? Contact Betsy Shelton at

Mentors Needed in Information Technology and Healthcare Fields

Future Ready Iowa Virtual Mentoring continues to enroll students and mentors on an ongoing basis. Through engaging in this mentoring program, students establish meaningful career connections and strengthen their job readiness skills. Eligible students are recipients of the Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship attending community colleges and eligible private colleges throughout the state.

Mentors are especially needed in healthcare (medical coding, radiation tech, medical assistant, nursing) and IT (software and web development, network administration, cybersecurity). Mentoring is conducted through messaging and video call. The average time commitment is 1 hour per month, although the expectations are flexible and unique to each mentoring match. You can help through:

  • Volunteering to mentor a student in your field, learn more or enroll here:
  • Sharing the opportunity to mentor a student with your personal and professional networks
  • Recommending employers or organizations we should add to our network
  • Sharing professional development opportunities that may be of interest and available to our students

Thank you for your consideration. Please direct any questions or connections to Jason Wiegand, Program Manager at or 515.348.6262.

Service in the News

Current Volunteer Iowa and AmeriCorps VISTA Openings

Volunteer with us! Find volunteer opportunities with Volunteer Iowa here:

Current AmeriCorps VISTA openings in Iowa:

Important Dates

Looking for a way to give back? Visit Get Connected today to find volunteer opportunities. Organizations can post volunteer opportunities on Get Connected as well at no cost.