Team Approach

 

The team of people at Thrive is part of what makes the organization special.  Our team enjoys being together and reaching out to benefit others.  Because of our interactions & experiences, we know how critical it can be to communicate in multiple languages and be able to welcome others.  Many of our staff members fill dual roles at Thrive like being a student in one class and contributing as a teacher or volunteer in a different language class or program.

Volunteer Opportunities

 

In large part, Thrive is able to share our services with the community due to the efforts of dedicated volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Jody at 570-337-2898 or jody@thriveip.org and complete a volunteer application.

We have the following volunteer opportunities:

  • Spanish and French interpreters/translators–flexible schedule; can be done remotely; ideally 2-4 hours per month
  • ESL online class assistants/tutors*–flexible schedule depending on student availability and class times
  • Comfort Food Around the World takeout meal assistants–3rd Wednesday of each month
  • Immigration legal program office assistant*–semi-flexible schedule; ideally 2-4 hours per week
  • Graphic design–flexible schedule; ideally 2-4 hours per month
  • Accounting assistant–flexible schedule; ideally 2-4 hours per month

 

Volunteers who may have contact with youth are required to have or obtain the following per PA state law.  We also ask the same of those who may have contact with our immigration legal program. (These are required for positions with an * above.)

 

  • PA State Police Background Check (can be done online; free for volunteers)
  • Child Abuse Clearances (can be done by paper form or online.  If you use the online option, start with “Create Individual Account.” Free for volunteers)
  • Mandatory Reporter Training (the link is for one free training option; other recognized programs are also acceptable)
  • FBI background checks (only required if you have not lived in PA for the last 10 years and/or you will be paid; Be sure to use code 1KG6ZJ for volunteers and code 1KG756 for employees.  Enter your location.  Select “Schedule Appointment”, and then select “Digital Fingerprinting.)

Staff

 

Jody Lantz–Executive Director & Intermediate ESL Instructor; DOJ Accredited Representative

Jody has been with Thrive and its predecessor since February 2011.  She has taught ESL since 1994 in different contexts including in community and college programs in the U.S. and Thailand.  She earned her B.S.W. from Eastern University and her M.A. TESOL from Biola University.  Her professional passions are empowering those from other countries who are living in the U.S. to integrate with and positively impact their communities and helping new professionals develop teaching skills.  After long witnessing the need for low-cost accessible immigration legal services in the area, she also became a DOJ accredited representative.  Her favorite hobbies are reading, biking, and hiking.

Ivonne Acevedo – Vice President and ESL Instructor

She has been helping Thrive as a volunteer since 2018, began as an ESL Class Coach in summer 2019, and started as our ESL instructor in January 2020. She earned her bachelors in engineering from La Universidad del Zulia in Venezuela. She enjoys encouraging people, sharing in a multicultural environment, and helping people to integrate to the community. Ivonne also enjoys cooking, reading, listening music, dancing, and spending quality time with her family. 

Jenn Holdren – Language Cafe Facilitator

Jenn has been with Thrive since January 2017. She has a BA in Psychology and Spanish and spent time studying abroad in Spain. She enjoys working with individuals from various backgrounds and enjoys learning about their home country and culture. Jenn enjoys reading, hiking, running, fishing and cooking.

Rosa Ortega – Immigration Program Intern

Rosa is serving as an intern with Thrive’s immigration program during the 2020-2021 academic year.  She came to Thrive as a volunteer in 2019 and is a junior at Lycoming College majoring in political science with a focus on international law and a minor in French.  She is also bilingual in English/Spanish.  When asked where her passion stems from, she shared about watching family members go through the immigration process while growing up. She is well acquainted with the stress and fear that comes from working through the immigration process, and she desires to help people who are going through that process in any way she can.

 

Teacher Resources & Training

 

Board Members

 

Jerry Frear

Jody Lantz

Lauren Hammack

Mark Rice

Jamie Sanders

Melissa Mahler

Ivonne Acevedo Atencio

Anne Landon

Tess Neidig