Trenna Brown, Appalachia CARES AmeriCorps Program Director

Trenna Brown manages Clinch-Powell’s Appalachia CARES program, which places more than 100 AmeriCorps members with community based organizations each year. Trenna has been in this role for almost 20 years, but before she stepped in to the program director position, she was an AmeriCorps member herself, with a great passion for service and experiential education.

“As a teenager, one of my greatest interests was the Peace Corps. As a young adult with small children, the Peace Corps seemed like a dream long forgotten, so when I heard of the Corporation for National and Community Service and AmeriCorps, I decided it was the closest, most realistic avenue for organized service and a wonderful opportunity to give back to a community that I so loved,” Trenna reflected. She was recruited for a position with the Appalachia CARES AmeriCorps program in 1997 facilitating classroom-based service-learning with students in grades 3-8. This experience allowed her to give back while expanding her involvement and enthusiasm for immersive, student-driven academics. Trenna served two full time terms as an AmeriCorps member before applying for the job of program director as an alum of that same program.

In her current role, she secures funding, executes the AmeriCorps grant, and provides primary management of partner sites and AmeriCorps members in the Appalachia CARES program. With more than 100 members each year, in more than 40 locations, serving more than 60 Tennessee counties, this is no small feat! In addition to being one of Clinch-Powell’s longest serving employees, she is also the longest running AmeriCorps program director in the state of Tennessee.

When asked why she loves Clinch-Powell, she said, “I have been with the agency for 22 years because I believe in the agency… and the services we provide. It is an agency with a heart that desires to make positive contributions and an impact.”

Since its beginning in 1996, Appalachia CARES has placed more than 750 AmeriCorps members with community partners across the state, including many of Clinch-Powell’s current staff members. If you are interested in serving as a member or hosting a member at your organization, email