Trevor working hard during AmeriCorps NCCC. He and his team worked in New Orleans exposing old plumbing so new pipes could be installed.

Student United Way Founder Spotlight
Trevor Merris-Coots shares his reasons for bringing SUW to Sac State


Hey there, I’m Trevor Merris-Coots and I’m currently serving as the President of Student United Way (SUW) at Sacramento State.

I’ve lived in the Sacramento area my whole life. I grew up in unincorporated Rosemont, California. When I was about 11 I moved with my family to Carmichael, California, so you could say the American River runs through my veins.

After leaving Bella Vista high school with a GED, I served two terms with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) in Vicksburg, Mississippi. While in NCCC I assisted in many different service projects in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, as well as fire fighting for two months in North Carolina where I was deployed to the Judes Gap fire, largest in the country at the time (sometime in 2011). Americorps NCCC was a hugely rewarding experience and during my service, we received the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Services Disability Inclusion Award in 2010 for my team’s efforts to build ADA (American disability act) compliant ramps for low income family homes. I also received AmeriCorps NCCC Southern region class of XVI personal growth award in 2010. In 2011 I received the Bronze Congressional volunteerism and Silver Presidential volunteerism awards. My work in NCCC with State Parks in NC and City of Vicksburg inspired me to work in government, which is now my focus at Sac State. When I returned home to pursue my degree, I spent two years at American River College, where I got an Associates degree in Political Science and ran track and XC before transferring to Sacramento State. My Hornet pride is kind of a family tradition, my dad has a MA in Counseling and my brother has a MA in Education from Sac State as well.

I joined the charge to bring Student United Way to our fair campus because I want to take an active role in addressing the issues like income inequality and homelessness in Sacramento.