On Friday, June 19th, 2015 Segal Fellow Rhonda Shackleford-Ulmer (2006 AmeriCorps Alums Fellow) passed away at the age of 40 after a six year battle with cancer. While we are mourning the passing of this incredible citizen leader, we are inspired by her legacy. As the mother of three children, Rhonda actualized the concept of citizen leadership. After her AmeriCorps term in Volunteer Maryland, she saw the need felt by many parents to help their children succeed in education. So, Rhonda founded the non-profit University for Parents where she used her vision, passion and entrepreneurial spirit to create a program where "no parent is left behind". Rhonda was recognized nationally by the Points of Light Foundation, the White House as a "Champion of Change", and as a 2009 L'Oreal Women of Worth winner. At the AmeriCorps 20th Anniversary, Rhonda was honored as an outstanding Segal Citizen Leader and we renamed the Segal Program Fellows Fund, now the Rhonda Shackleford Ulmer Leadership Development Fund.
Phyllis Segal, reflecting on this loss, said, "Eli's death opened an unexpected door that brought Rhonda into our lives. She touched many Segal Fellows and Founders deeply with her indomitable grace and vitality. It is hard to see in this moment of sadness how Rhonda's death will open doors too -- but that will happen because her spirit was so strong that it changed, and lives on, in each and every one who knew her."
Supporting Rhonda's Family
Rhonda's family is establishing a trust fund for her children. Those interested in contributing to this fund can either send a check directly to Rhonda's mother, Jeanie Shackleford, at 6819 E. Diana Court, Tampa, Florida 33610, or give their checks to Tam prior to Friday, July 10th at 4p for Tam to deliver at the memorial. You may contact Tam with any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please write in the "Memo" line that these funds are to be directed to the children's trust fund.