FlipSide Face

by Mindy Marks

After her graduation from Simpson, Michelle Yeoman moved to Knox, Penn. where more than 50 percent of the schoolchildren are eligible for free or reduced lunches. Yeoman, now the assistant to the director of Hawley Academic Resource Center, worked on literacy and building community in a rural area while she served in Americorp Volunteers In Service To America.

The Americorp VISTA program is a year-long program stemming from the PeaceCorp which makes use of volunteers in America. Volunteers get a living stipend and help with student loans or money for college.

As an undergrad, Yeoman was a writing assistant at Hawley. Her interest in education and community service was fulfilled through this program.

“It exposed me to what conditions people lived under and was part of my cultural upbringing,” said Yeoman. “I’m so proud I did it and I’m so glad it’s done. It was incredibly draining and you put a lot of heart in because you’re emotionally involved.”

Besides working one-on-one to help kids develop their reading skills, Yeoman wrote a grant which funded an alternative education program for suspended youth. This new school offered kids a second chance and different ways to learn.

Yeoman’s commitment to learning brought her back to Simpson when a full-time position opened up in the Hawley Academic Resource Center.