ORLANDO – Yesterday, during a meeting of the Governor’s Commission on Community Service, Commissioners and Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman presented the Volunteer Florida Champion of Service Award to Tiffany Inge, an AmeriCorps VISTA member serving with the Heart of Florida United Way. This VISTA program engages AmeriCorps members to recruit community volunteers to support Title I public schools in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties.

Tiffany recently completed her year of service at Palmetto Elementary in Orlando. During her service, she recruited high-quality mentors for the school; secured partnerships between the school and corporations, faith-based organizations and other community groups; and coordinated special projects to benefit Palmetto’s students and teachers. Thanks to her efforts, 233 volunteers contributed 1,000 hours of service to Palmetto’s students.

Tiffany, 25, is a native of Port Orange, Florida. She is currently exploring career options, but would like to continue working with children in a non-profit setting as a result of her VISTA service.

“I like working hands-on in a community where I can make a difference.  I like to give of myself to those less fortunate; in return I learn and gain much from them,” Tiffany said.  “I love working with the students.  I find it rewarding to identify a student’s needs or challenges and then find volunteers to help that student achieve success in those areas.”

“Strong volunteer recruitment and coordination is critical for a school like Palmetto, where volunteers serve as role models and encourage positive behavior, academic success and personal development for students,” said Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman. “It is an honor today to award Tiffany Inge with the Volunteer Florida Champion of Service Award, on behalf of all the children whose lives were positively impacted by the many volunteers she recruited.”

AmeriCorps VISTA is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service; these AmeriCorps members dedicate a year of their life to working full-time in communities to help alleviate poverty.

The Volunteer Florida Champion of Service Award honors individuals and groups for their outstanding volunteer efforts. For more information about the Volunteer Florida Champion of Service Awards, visit:

# # #

Volunteer Florida, the Governor’s Commission on Community Service, was established in 1994 by the Florida Legislature to administer grants under the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. The Commission grants funds to Florida AmeriCorps and National Service programs; coordinates volunteers and donations in a disaster; and inspires all Floridians to serve their communities. For more information, visit: