Mattoon in Motion to Welcome Second Peace Corps Fellow/AmeriCorps
Mattoon, Ill. (WCIA)
The Chamber is very pleased to share that Mattoon in Motion welcomes its second Peace Corps Fellow/AmeriCorps through the Western Illinois University Fellows in Community Development program. The scholarship program is a two-year postgraduate scholarship for returning Peace Corps volunteers and AmeriCorps alumni and is administered by the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs with financial support from ‘AmeriCorps.
As part of their program of study, scholarship recipients complete an eleven-month internship in a rural community carrying out local development projects. Our new Fellow will help Mattoon in Motion continue its successful global mission to ensure Mattoon’s future growth and development.
Carlos Ortega was Mattoon in Motion’s first Peace Corps Fellow and has done an outstanding job helping to develop Elevate, CCIC, Inc., which is supported in part by Google.org. Elevate is the entrepreneurial/coworking space at Cross County Mall which is also home to ClassE. They have helped launch many local entrepreneurs into starting and improving their businesses. After his Fellowship and AmeriCorps service, Carlos became the Executive Director of Elevate.
Elevate, CCIC, Inc. is one of the many success stories of Mattoon in Motion, which has been in operation since 2017. Other Mattoon in Motion developments include the Tree Commission, Bike Trail Committee and the new Sports Complex Plus Committee .
Alexander Benishek is a Peace Corps Fellow/AmeriCorps at Western Illinois University. Pursuing a Masters in Community Economic Development, he will work with Mattoon in Motion to support new community projects and close economic gaps in our neighborhoods.
Alex is originally from Sarasota, Florida. He attended the University of South Florida at Sarasota-Manatee, was elected to the position of student body president, and eventually earned a bachelor’s degree in history.
Alexander is no stranger to public service. As a returned Peace Corps volunteer, Alexander served in the country of North Macedonia with a focus on community economic development and youth. Through his service in AmeriCorps and VISTA, Alexander has training in nonprofit coordination related to homelessness, food insecurity, and education issues in Alamosa, CO; Tallahassee, FLA; and Macomb.
Prior to his service, Alexander also spent time managing political campaigns throughout Florida. Alexander enjoys recording music, riding his bike, cooking spicy food, and (most importantly) playing with his once-wild adopted kitten, Revan. Alexander is looking forward to getting to know the people of Mattoon and learning how we can all work together to help make Mattoon an even better place.
Mattoon Chamber of Commerce
1518 Broadway Avenue
Mattoon, Illinois 61938