Monday, February 17, 2014

Mid-term progress report: VISTAs in the news

Since our 2013-2014 cohort of NC Campus Compact VISTAs began service in August 2013, they have made headway building the capacity of campus-community partnerships that serve low-income people. Here are some impressive tallies from our mid-term progress report (August - December, 2013):

2013-14 VISTA Cohort with Supervisors
  • 20 VISTA members (including 1 VISTA Leader)
  • 1,934 volunteers mobilized    
  • 10,611 hours of service performed by volunteers
  • $28,017 in cash/grant resources generated
  • $39,568 in non-cash resources raised
Here are some stories and news clips from the past 5 months of our VISTAs fighting poverty with the power of higher education:

VISTA Willie Jones serves in Cullowhee at Western Carolina University in partnership with Community Table. Check out his Documentary of Gleaning and the Jackson County Glean Team he has created! Read more about the Jackson County Glean Team, and read about their Homecoming Food drive!

VISTAs Melissa Rogan and Erin O'Donnell serve in Wilmington at Feast Down East in partnership with UNC Wilmington. Hear what Melissa has to say about Feast Down East at the 3rd Annual Parking Day! You can also watch Erin in a documentary on Food Deserts!

VISTA Brittany Johnson serves at the Hospitality House of Boone in partnership with Appalachian State University. This November, for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week, Brittany organized the 3rd Semi-Annual Hunger Games Event to raise awareness of food access issues and host a food drive to support Hospitality House's food pantry. More than 3000 food items were donated as a result of the Games and word spread widely through the local news circuits!    

Whether you are in the far east or the far west of the state or somewhere in between, Willie, Brittany, Erin, and Melissa can serve you up a large helping of information on food security issues.

VISTA Devin Corrigan serves in Greensboro at UNC Greensboro in partnership with the Interactive Resource Center for people experiencing homelessness. Though Devin's main focus is Economic Opportunity, she also planned a slew of events during Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week last November, and she will be the first to tell you that food security and economic opportunity go hand-in-hand.

VISTA Anna Mahathey serves at High Point University in partnership with West End Ministries. Anna works in the Office of Service-Learning, which recently launched a Reading and Writing Center. Anna also helped coordinate 26 different MLK Day projects that turned-out over 400 volunteers!

VISTA Shifra Sered serves in Greenville at East Carolina University in partnership with the Third Street Community Center where she attracted the local media to highlight TSCC's future plans.

VISTA Elizabeth McIntosh serves in both Madison County and at Duke University with the PAGE Program, which stands for the Partnership for Appalachian Girls' Education. In the past couple of months, Elizabeth helped launch the organization's new website with all of the students' digital stories on it, and National Public Radio hosted PAGE's Director where she speaks in-depth about the new organization. Notably, Elizabeth is the first VISTA to serve in Madison County for 44 years, after the last VISTA in 1970 was murderedElizabeth has picked up the mantle of her predecessor however, and has been largely welcomed in the community. 

VISTA Dalton Hoffer serves in Pembroke at UNC Pembroke in partnership with the Pembroke Housing Authority. Check out Dalton's video of Pembroke's 9/11 Day of Service Activities. You can also read Dalton's full story of accomplishments here!
VISTA Jacob Lerner serves in Chapel Hill with the Marion Cheek Jackson Center in partnership with UNC Chapel Hill. Jacob is working on an initiative to funnel community-minded students to off-campus rental housing in the Northside neighborhood, on the theory these students will make better neighbors. In a continuing effort to build relationships with students and community members, Jacob has also helped organize UNC students to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity's program, A Brush with Kindness, to rebuild the porch of a long-standing community member.

Our VISTAs provide support for their communities in so many ways, seen and unseen. Check out even more of their achievements here for their MLK Day highlights!