Service as a Family Tradition – Four Generations Strong

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Service as a Family Tradition – Four Generations Strong

Joyce Yamaato, far right, with her daughter, mother and grandmother
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#Volunteer service as a #family tradition – four generations strong. | via @PointsofLight
Friday, May 15, 2015 - 2:20pm

This post is by Joyce Yamaato, vice president with Wells Fargo’s Strategic Philanthropy and Partnerships Group. Her service in AmeriCorps led her to pursue a philanthropic career spanning 20 years.  

Service starts with family. Family in my culture is basically everyone. I remember growing up and having lots of “aunts and cousins.” It wasn’t until I got older that I realized that we weren’t necessarily related!

Both my mom, Joylyn, and my grandmother, Alice, were very involved in the community. “Service” to them meant volunteering at church, making meals for those going through hard times and giving charitably. I work to pass on these same community values to my own children.

My mom and grandmother also gave back through teaching. My mom taught English overseas. At the time, she was the only female department head in the late 1960s and early ’70s.

My grandmother taught sign language here in the United States. She received her master of arts in speech language pathology from the University of Alabama in the mid-1960s.

I’ve always thought of her as an adventurous woman. She went back to school to get her master’s degree after her six children became adults. Her teaching career spanned 35 years.

My grandmother passed away last year at the age of 92. The photo you see below was the last one that I took with her during the holidays. I believe that her time teaching students of diverse abilities was one that she cherished the most.

It was also an experience that resonated with me when I decided to serve in AmeriCorps.

Read the rest of the story on the Points of Light blog.


Keywords: Volunteerism & Community Engagement | AmeriCorps Alums | Americorps | Daily Point of Light Award | ESL | Education | English as a Second Language | Philanthropy | Points of Light | University of Alabama | Wells Fargo