Playworks Louisiana AmeriCorps Alum Makes Service Her Life

Tiffany Johansen Awarded Playworks AmeriCorps Alums Leadership Award

For the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps, Playworks and AmeriCorps Alums honored three of our AmeriCorps alums. This award was given to outstanding AmeriCorps alums who continue to model the values of AmeriCorps after their year of service, by strengthening communities, taking action, seeking common ground and persevering. Meet the first of our honorees Tiffany Johansen, as nominated by former Playworks Program Associate Mallory Josol.


Tiffany Johansen’s entire adult life is marked by service to communities. After college, she volunteered as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Louisiana (2006-2007). After a brief stint in Mississippi, Tiffany returned to New Orleans serve again as an AmeriCorps member with Playworks Louisiana. Upon leaving Playworks, Tiffany found a career in managing wellness programs for entire families in community centers on the West Bank of New Orleans, New Orleans East, and Baton Rouge.

Though her work keeps her busy in several Louisiana communities, Tiffany still finds time to volunteer often. She has served on the board of Playworks Louisiana since 2009, volunteering at several of our family and fundraising events throughout her time. Tiffany is an active member of the Young Leadership Council in New Orleans for three years. She has volunteered on many of their projects, but has focused her energy serving with the College Admissions Project (C.A.P.) mentoring and advising New Orleans high school seniors through college admissions and scholarship processes and the RECreate program where she coaches basketball for several hours each Saturday in the Spring. She has also volunteered to fundraise for–and build–several KaBOOM! Playgrounds throughout the greater New Orleans area.

Another way Tiffany shows dedication is by incorporating the causes she believes in into her personal life. She has a unique ability to find out what people care about and show them how they can engage with their community better to create and achieve common goals. She makes volunteerism seem easy and convenient to others, causing them to reflect on how best they can serve.

Tiffany’s motivations to serve and volunteer set her apart from many other volunteers. She does not serve because she needs school credit, she does not serve because her job doesn’t offer her the ability to work in communities, and she doesn’t serve for recognition from peers. She is a volunteer because she truly believes that she can make a difference in the lives of families in Louisiana and because she knows that the best way to get other adults to stand up for–and with–children in this state is to lead by example. She does not just volunteer, she advocates.

The balance she has struck as a full-time worker and volunteer indicates that service does, in fact, sustain her. Her caring and empathy knows no bounds. She knows the difference that adults can make in the lives of children very well. As an adopted child, she has always been grateful that her parents chose her and worked to provide her a life of love, meaningful lessons, fun, and warmth. This experience and gratitude has led her to a life of service to children, because every child should have the same opportunities that she had as a kid.

Tiffany Johansen is a true leader of service.

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