Emily Ward’s passion for serving her community began long before she made the decision to become an AmeriCorps member in the VISTA program. She served with friends and through church opportunities throughout middle and high school and continued volunteering while in college. The opportunity to begin her AmeriCorps journey came once she graduated from undergrad. She was set to attend graduate school for philosophy but decided that she wanted to do something more tangible and less removed from being helpful to others.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – AmeriCorps, the federal agency for volunteering and service, today announced the launch of a new food security initiative to create a comprehensive and collaborative approach to hunger. The four awards, totaling $2 million, will support 100 new AmeriCorps VISTA members in New Hampshire, Maine, Ohio, and Texas, which are launching new projects or expanding projects to combat the growing hunger crisis.
When Jessica Bulling went for an interview at the Phenix City Housing Authority (PCHA), she felt completely out of her comfort zone. She hadn’t worked in housing before, and it wasn’t her goal to become an AmeriCorps VISTA, but a relocation to Benning, Georgia had made it necessary for Jessica to look for a new job. She was drawn to the description of the role at Phenix City Housing Authority. Her belief that education is the key to unlocking the chains of poverty fit perfectly with the work of PCHA’s Resident Services team.
Jillian Maynard is helping the aging Jewish community in Youngstown, Ohio tell their stories. From surviving the Holocaust to making a new life in the United States, the Life Stories Project serves as a form of narrative therapy while also helping to strengthen the connection between participants and their children and grandchildren.
Kurtis Edwards: An AmeriCorps VISTA Taking On Poverty and Racial Injustice with the Power of Literacy
Kurtis Edwards can’t recall how he found the AmeriCorps VISTA program, but after almost two years of service, he feels lucky that he did. As he completes his second year of service, he is even more resolute in his determination to “work tirelessly at a career in human service and community building.”
Luwi is a Zambian immigrant who came to the U.S. with her family in 2006. Over the years, her experiences have helped her develop a personal understanding and perspective on what it means to be an immigrant in the U.S., which includes challenges such as seeing her older sister forgo epilepsy treatments her parents could not afford. These experiences are part of what drew her to the AmeriCorps VISTA position at Boston Medical Center (BMC).
A few years later, this is the exact message he wants to get through to people: “It can happen to anybody so quickly. People don’t really understand how quickly you can fall into this place where you feel like you have no options, and then you’re trapped.”
It was this passion for sharing his story through public speaking and advocacy that led Mikah to AmeriCorps VISTA, an experience he would later call “magical.”
National service was always something Claire knew she wanted to do. With a desire to keep her focus on improving healthcare domestically, she chose to serve in AmeriCorps.
As a Chicagoan and recent college graduate serving in Wyoming in the department’s Aging Division, Claire would be working in a place and with a population that was very unfamiliar.
But to drive home his point, McAteer is willing to table the intricacies and strip down “sustainability” to its bluntest, barest form: “You don’t just finish a project, take a digital photo, and move on.”
Mandy’s Farm – VAMOS Program – 2019 Excellence in AmeriCorps Award for Engaging More People with Disabilities