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Volunteer of the Month

Nominate a Student or Graduate for Volunteer of the Month

Nominate a UMGC student or graduate today to be the next Volunteer of the Month. This recognition highlights outstanding student and alumni volunteers who serve their communities. Each month, one volunteer will be honored.

UMGC faculty, staff, alumni, and students are encouraged to submit nominations of outstanding volunteers who show a high level of commitment to helping others. This commitment can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, including consistent participation, a willingness to give extra effort, and going beyond the duties of their role.

Important Information

April/May 2023: Saresa Pleasant ’09

Aiden AllredSaresa Pleasant is passionate about helping others see their potential and step into the profession they were called to pursue. Her career with the federal government, spanning 27 years across five agencies, has prepared her to share with others how to move up the career ladder through self-determination and a desire to succeed. Currently employed with the Department of Homeland Security, she is a mission support specialist with a specialization in workforce management.

Pleasant earned her AA from the Community College of Baltimore County–Dundalk, BA from the University of Baltimore, and graduate certificate in Leadership and Management from UMGC. She is a member of the National Résumé Writers Association and the Society for Human Resource Management. She has also been an active member of Toastmasters since 2003 and earned a Distinguished Toastmasters award in 2016.

In 2012, Pleasant and a former coworker founded SISTAS Thrilled About Reading. Featured in the Baltimore Times, this community-based book club builds a bond of sisterhood at monthly discussions that motivate and empower every member. Through fundraising efforts and donations, the club has awarded book scholarships to graduating high school seniors in the Baltimore area and donated toiletries to homeless women.

Pleasant dedicated her time to UMGC’s Career Fair in March 2023, working with current students who were participating in the fair.  

March 2023: Aiden Allred, current student

Aiden AllredAiden Allred, a full-time servicemember in the Army, is also a father, a student, and a volunteer. In December 2022, Allred started volunteering for the Crisis Text Line. In this role, he assists people through times of crisis, having text conversations on sensitive, personal topics. During those conversations, Allred provides texters with resources to help them gain long-term coping abilities. As of early March, Allred has helped 32 people through the Crisis Text Line. He is also a blood donor and likes to help his community in other ways when the opportunity arises.

Allred, who completed his Associate of Arts degree at UMGC in fall 2022 and is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in finance, shares his love for helping people. “Whether it's serving my country, donating blood, cleaning up trash in my community, or spending time on the crisis line, I genuinely love helping others and knowing that what I do makes a difference.”

Anyone can reach out for help by texting “HOME” to 741741.

February 2023: Jessica Johnson, current student

Jessica JohnsonJessica Johnson, an undergraduate student in UMGC’s Asia division, is passionate about helping expanding families get the support they need. She has been volunteering with the American Red Cross for the past year, helping deliver Baby of the Month items to the naval hospital in Yokosuka each month. Johnson also volunteers as a lactation support educator for expecting mothers at the hospital, as well as with the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, where she serves as a Budget for Baby instructor and occasionally helps with the postpartum support group. Johnson volunteers while also balancing a course load as she pursues her associate degree in general studies.

“I take pride in serving military families and being part of an extraordinary community of people who never hesitate when it comes to lending each other a hand,” shares Jessica. “To volunteer is to serve others.”

January 2023: Cliff Timpson ’18 & ’20

Cliff TimpsonClifford “Cliff” Timpson recently volunteered at UMGC’s Winter Grad Walk. He spent two days greeting graduates and their families; celebrating the class of 2022; and sharing information about the UMGC Alumni Association, its benefits, and its resources.

“This was the first time I was able to be on campus and see an event dedicated to graduation on this level,” Timpson said. “It was a unique and personal experience for thousands of grads. I was able to witness an engagement on stage, see a mother and her baby with matching caps and gowns, and meet staff members I only communicated with virtually.”

The time and effort Timpson dedicated to Winter Grad Walk exceeded the expectations of his role and were surpassed only by the joy and pride he displayed for each graduate he met. His enthusiasm and energy were contagious.

December 2022: Kai Corkery, current student

Brandon SutanKai Corkery, an undergraduate student pursing a Bachelor of Science in Management Studies, gives back to his community by volunteering at the New York Blood Center. Corkery helps donors after they have their blood drawn, encouraging them to stay for a 15-minute observation period, offering snacks and beverages, and requesting additional assistance when someone feels unwell. He has been volunteering at the blood center an average of four times a month since June 2022. He is also planning a blood drive at his church.

Corkery believes that volunteering is an important part of gaining a clear view of our community. He said, “I volunteer to avoid the pattern of absorbing headlines and believing they describe our world. We must engage in our communities and change our perspectives. Then we can perform actions that benefit others in tangible ways.” 

November 2022: Brandon Sutan, current student

Brandon SutanBrandon Sutan is an avid volunteer in his community at Fort Carson, where he donates his time to several organizations. He is a youth mentor through the Travis Manion Foundation, developing future leaders by providing guidance and teaching life skills. He also volunteers with the Fort Carson United Service Organization (USO), where he opens/closes the facility, makes sure it stays clean, and serves food to other active-duty servicemembers. As an ambassador for Mission 22, a program that supports veterans and their families, Sutan runs information booths and coordinates with state and regional leaders in planning and executing events. Through the Fort Carson Army Volunteer Corps, he helped set up and direct the first-ever Fort Carson Pinewood Derby. Sutan hopes that other soldiers will see him volunteering and follow his lead.

His service also extends beyond his local community. Sutan is an active member of the CatchaFire website community, which matches skilled volunteers to nonprofits to help them increase their capacity and achieve their missions. His work at nonprofits, where he taught others ways to use funding more effectively, saved those organizations more than $15,000.

Sutan, who is pursuing his associate degree at UMGC, believes that “any positive impact you have on someone’s life can ultimately change their future.” 

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