Unsung Hero: Maris Laney
Program support for three, new, pilot ESL classes
Maris Laney is an AmeriCorps Volunteer who walked into a new project and immediately got it organized, with a smile, grace, and professionalism. When ReEstablish Richmond piloted three new English classes—on two days, in two locations, at three times of day—for the first time, Maris coordinated schedules, collected important information about each refugee or immigrant student, and handled all situations and questions. She created detailed spreadsheets with intake data as well as attendance, assessment scores, and more. In addition to her organizational and technology skills, Maris brings a sense of calmness to her work. “We all marveled at her competence with a brand new job and program,” says ReEstablish Richmond’s Nancy Riddlemose.
Maris is a recent graduate from Auburn University, with a B.S. in global studies and minors in sustainability and Spanish. Passionate about environmentally and socially safe spaces, she is committed to the improvement of quality of life for all individuals. Maris’ passion for serving displaced peoples comes particularly from her grandmother’s shared experiences as a displaced child during WWII, having survived the bombing of her home and community. As an AmeriCorps member offering capacity building support across ReEstablish Richmond’s economic empowerment programming, Maris serves as the logistics coordinator of ReEstablish Richmond’s pilot English classes.