At SERCAP, we are fortunate to have a team that values the work they do and the people and community they work with. We are committed to our mission of improving the quality of life for low-income individuals and communities in rural America.
This is why Valerie Falconieri, our Volunteers for Change (VFC) Coordinator, comes to work each day. She shared,
Access to clean, safe drinking water and access to proper wastewater facilities is often taken for granted. The work SERCAP does is very important and I’m glad to be a part of the SERCAP team.
As the VFC Coordinator, Valerie is in charge of the Alternative Breaks Program, which connects colleges with various community host sites during traditional school breaks. A host site is a small community, church, or organization that partners with SERCAP to host students for a project. The lengths of these projects range from one day to an entire week! Students help with variety of tasks, including housing repair, landscaping, volunteering at local food banks, and interacting with youth in after-school programs. This Alternative Breaks Program is a great way for student volunteers to come alongside communities.
As part of her role, Valerie communicates with staff and student leaders at across a number of colleges to pair them with a host site that aligns with the goals they have for student volunteers. These goals could include leadership development, learning about a new culture, or connecting the experience to academic and career goals.
Having participated in alternative break experiences as a college student, Valerie understands the impact these experiences have on both students and communities. She said, “I value service-learning experiences and I enjoy supporting these unique cultural and educational opportunities.”
When asked what her favorite part of the job is, she answered, “interacting with my coworkers and learning about our various community host sites.”
Valerie’s work as the VFC coordinator brings her far and wide around our service region. While the majority of her work is centered in Virginia, the host areas stretch throughout the South, as far away as Florida. Her commitment to SERCAP’s mission is obvious through her work.
When she’s not visiting host sites and speaking with schools, Valerie enjoys interacting with her coworkers. She said, “everyone works together and supports each other in the office in order to get the job done.” She also shared, “I value one-on-one conversations with my coworkers and it’s been great getting to know everyone in the office.”
The people we work with and the communities we serve generate positive outcomes for the people we’re able to help. We have enjoyed having Valerie’s friendly and positive attitude on the team since she joined in August of 2017. The work Valerie does is a great example of how partnerships change lives and strengthen our communities.