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MLK Day of Service: Deaf in Service to America

January 17, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST

Virtual Event Virtual Event
Join with us to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and talk how we can better our communities and our country through AmeriCorps Service.
Deaf in Service to America is a panel of Deaf and Hard of Hearing with past experience of working in AmeriCorps’ programs. The panelists will explain why serving was important to them, their experiences working with unique projects, and how it has impacted themselves and the community they served. CorpsTHAT recognizes the importance of having visibility of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people in career positions and in service to help people in need.
Panelists Include:
Photo of Mimi standing on a beach in the water
Mimi (Sonya) Jillella
My name is Sonya Jillella, most preferably my nickname: “Mimi”. I am from Atlanta, GA although, I moved and lived at many different places since growing up to now. I received a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies at Gallaudet University in May 2020. However, during my undergrad career, I completed several summer seasons AmeriCorps services at three different conservation corps organizations at Conservation Corps of Minnesota & Iowa (2021) in Minnesota, WisCorps (2019) in Wisconsin, and Northwest Youth Corps (2016) in Washington state. Plus, I completed a vigorous internship at CorpsTHAT, a nonprofit as a Communication Assistant Intern in 2018 too. So, with all of three conservation corps that I committed and served for, has given me a valuable enriching and rewarding experiences to work and live outdoors in an engaging teamwork environment. Since August 2021, I’ve been currently working as a Long-Term Paraprofessional Aide for the middle school department at Kendall Demonstration Elementary School in Washington, DC. Meanwhile, to this day, I still have dreams of hoping to help some conservation corps organizations to improve and restore their inclusive programs someday in future.
AmeriCorps Programs that Mimi has served: Conservation Corps Minnesota (CCM), Northwest Youth Corps (NYC), WisCorps



Vanessa Luois

Hello! My name is Vanessa Luois and I just moved from Arizona, in May 2021! Recently, I completed my first summer season with National Park Service as a Park Ranger, at Rocky Mountain National Park and returning for the second season! I had an amazing time, and I am completely captivated with the trees, rivers (in fact, I just started a new hobby, fly-fishing!), and mountains in this beautiful state. I graduated with a graduate certificate from Colorado State University, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Arizona. Both degrees focused on land, people, and wildlife conservation and management and wildlife biology.  My life has always been surrounded by wildlife and being outdoors. In fact, I studied abroad and lived among the African tribes in Namibia. My lifelong goal is to be a biologist and work in wildlife education.  I love learning and adapting to new opportunities.

Vanessa is an American Conservation Experience alumni.


Jojo (Joseph) Lopez

Joseph Lopez aka “JoJo” born and raised in Riverside, California.  California School for the Deaf Riverside(2004) and Gallaudet University(2010/2017) Alumni. He has a B.A in Communication Studies and M.A in Sign Language Education. JoJo currently lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and he is working as a Deaf Mentor for Early Intervention & Developmental Service at New Mexico School for the Deaf. He is an Adjuncts instructor for ASL Level 1 & II at New Mexico State University. He is also ASL Connect: Families for Gallaudet University. He is an active advocate in his community and the board for Raíces del Rio Grande, New Mexico Mano A Mano, and Council de Manos. He loves to socialize with people, enjoys hiking, coffee, taking pictures, and most of all spending quality time with family.

AmeriCorps Programs that JoJo has served: Conservation Corps Minnesota (CCM) and ASL Service Corps in New Mexico



Nora Torres

AmeriCorps Programs that Nora has served: Conservation Corps Minnesota (CCM) and ASL Service Corps in New Mexico

This event will be interpreted. Interpreters are sponsored by


January 17, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST
Event Category:


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