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N. Harrison grad receives Award for Excellence

N. Harrison grad receives Award for Excellence N. Harrison grad receives Award for Excellence

A New Salisbury resident and 2017 North Harrison High School graduate recently earned an award from Serve Indiana, the service and volunteerism division of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development.

Rachel Biddle, 23, received the 2022 National Service Member Award.

After high school, Biddle attended Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, where she studied community health. Following graduation, she became an AmeriCorps member at Step-Up Inc., which provides comprehensive HIV care to individuals living with HIV along with HIV prevention resources.

She is now a community navigator at Step-Up Inc., where she has led the organization’s prevention team in acquiring naloxone and fentanyl testing strips after confirming data showed Step-Up serves many clients who inject drugs.

“There are a lot of us who work in service with AmeriCorps, and I have a really great team,” Biddle said. “It’s been a really great year with them.

“Seeing my clients succeed is truly the best feeling and the inspiration for me to do my best in service work,” she said. “I want to thank all my clients for giving me the opportunity to be a part of their journey because to them, this is not service; this is their life.”

The National Service Member Award is given to any national service member serving in a position supported by the AmeriCorps HQ at the time of the nomination. This includes AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps VISTA, Senior Corps and Learn and Serve America participants.

“Rachel has been an absolute joy to both Step-Up Inc. and the clients we serve,” said Ebony Barney, Serve Indiana grantee program director. “The AmeriCorps program, funded by the Ending the HIV Epidemic, provided a road map for Rachel to work directly with key professional stakeholders dedicated to ending the HIV epidemic.

“The thing I enjoy about Rachel most is that she outside of the box,” she said. “She, in many ways, has developed into a well-rounded young professional.”

The mission of Serve Indiana is to advance service and volunteerism by informing, connecting and promoting opportunities and resources that enrich the lives of Hoosiers. It accomplishes that mission through several programs and initiatives including AmeriCorps State, Day of Service Grants and the Awards for Excellence Ceremony.

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