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E komo mai, AmeriCorps members!

This month we welcome Iafeta Petelo and Samarra Jones, our newest AmeriCorps members, to Honolulu Habitat’s team! In their role as AmeriCorps Volunteer Coordinator, Feta will help recruit, train and recognize the volunteers on and off the build site who make our mission possible. In her new role as AmeriCorps Construction Crew Leader, Samarra will work closely with our construction team, community partners and contractors to support the construction of our Habitat homes. Be sure to say hello the next time you stop by or call our office!

Who is Iafeta Petelo?

Iafeta Petelo is charismatic, idealistic, and hilarious to be around with! I was born and raised in Waipahu, Hawaii.

Why Habitat? What inspired you to join AmeriCorps and support our mission?

Habitat for humanity continues to put God’s love into action and I believe I can contribute to that through AmeriCorps. I have always wanted to understand more and do more for my community. 

What are you looking forward to most in your upcoming service year?

I absolutely look forward to working with AmeriCorps as they have given me a great opportunity to create positive change in my community.

What does home mean to you?

Home is truly where the heart is. I understand through Habitat that we don’t build houses, we create homes.

What are some fun facts about you? 

My favorite color is baby pink, my favorite food is Japanese curry, and I have yet to visit a foreign country.


Who is Samarra Jones?

Samarra is a young adult who believes her life’s mission is to make a difference in the world. She enjoys spending her time to herself and with her 2 cats and Frenchie. She loves to work with her hands in making art as well as cooking for others. Samarra loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking, boating and paddle boarding, but is scared of the ocean.

Samarra was born in Turkey and lived overseas until she was about 8 years and when she moved to America, she lived in Washington for a few years, California for 9 years and then back to Washington for 6 years, and now Hawaii for almost 2 years. 

Why Habitat? What inspired you to join AmeriCorps and serve our mission? 

I wanted to be part of something that was bigger than me and to be able to make a difference in people’s lives. I have a nonprofit I am trying to get off the ground and I am learning so much at Habitat and I hope to learn all I can to be as successful as Habitat. TJ strongly encouraged me to become involved in the organization and I am so happy I did because everyone is incredible and such a strong team.

What are you looking forward to most in your upcoming service year?

I look forward to building not only homes but relationships in the community and in the office. I hope to be apart of 4 home builds and I am thoroughly excited to kick things off.🙂 

What does home mean to you?

Home is a place where you feel safe, comfortable and unapologetically yourself. 

What are some fun facts about you?

I worked on a horse ranch for 2 years, I raised farm animals for 6 years, I can ride horseback, I was president of my 4H club for 3 years and I really like to dance and sing even though some may say its not great. 

About AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps is the federal agency connecting individuals and organizations to tackle the nation’s most pressing challenges. 

AmeriCorps focuses on these key areas to make an impact: economic opportunity, disaster response, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and veterans and military families. Every year, more than 270,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers are placed with organizations across the country.

In partnership with local Habitat organizations, Habitat places AmeriCorps members to serve in a variety of roles to increase Habitat’s ability to build homes, engage communities, build capacity and increase productivity.


My AmeriCorps Story: Homeowner Services 

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