Friday, September 28, 2012

VISTA Profile: Elizabeth Corney

Elizabeth Corney, a native North Carolinian and graduate of Campbell University, is serving at East Carolina University. At ECU, Elizabeth supports various food security projects in the Greenville area, including the Campus Kitchen at ECU (CKECU) project.

SP: What previous work or volunteer experience led you to becoming a VISTA?
EC: While in undergrad, I participated in many one day service events and short term service projects. I also worked as an intern at a church where I was able to coordinate service activities for a youth group. I'm looking forward to my AmeriCorps year as a chance to grow, personally and professionally.

SP: What is the primary focus of your project? What community partner(s) or populations will you serve?
EC: The primary focus is food security. ECU is a member of Campus Kitchen, a national organization that helps colleges set up food rescue programs. We recover food from campus dining halls, prepare meals, and deliver to three community partners in Greenville: Ronald McDonald House (houses families of hospitalized children), The Little Willie Center (after-school program for at-risk children), and Operation Sunshine (after school program for at-risk girls).

CKECU student volunteers serving food at a community partner site.
SP: You’ve been on the job now for over a month. Any successes so far that you’d like to share? Exciting things coming up?
EC: I am really impressed with the CKECU student leadership team and shift leaders. We have about 16 students who take on these roles. I am also looking forward to “double shift Fridays” in October.  We will be delivering meals to two community partners every Friday.  Previously, we were delivering to each one on alternating weeks. I am also excited about attending a Campus Kitchen Project conference at Lee University in Tennessee.  I will get to meet other Campus Kitchen coordinators, learn some best practices, and show off CKECU.

SP: Tell us something unique about yourself. 
EC: I love being outside-camping, hiking, kayaking, etc. I am 22, but I still enjoy climbing trees.

SP:  Since you love the outdoors, I expect you’ve cooked over a campfire. How does camping cooking compare to campus (kitchen) cooking?
EC: Cooking over a fire is less precise, not as consistent, and you can’t cook as much as fast.  The upside is that you can see the stars, and you can’t beat the smell of a good campfire.