Friday, January 8, 2016

2015 VISTA Year in Review!

Some of our favorite highlights from another year of AmeriCorps VISTA, building capacity of community-based service programs that benefit both campus and community partners.

VISTA program celebrates 50th Anniversary with help from NC Campus Compact VISTA Leaders Perdita Das and Catherine Casteel. They were key organizers of the state anniversary event: a sunny day of service and fellowship at Lifespan in Greensboro.

VLDR Perdita Das gives then-national director Paul Monteiro a piece of her mind! Actually, she was extremely polite and honest about the challenges VISTA Leaders and members face. A week after their conversation, VISTA changed rules regarding second employment. Coincidence?

NC Campus Compact VISTA alum Carolyn Byrne Rifkin returns to the Compact as VISTA program coordinator!

The Marian Cheek Jackson Center -- with the help of UNC, Self-Help Credit Union, and other partners -- realizes a plan to create a multi-million dollar landbank to preserve affordable housing in Northside.

The Hospitality House's Welcome Home Thriftique celebrates its 1-year anniversary.

Our 2014-15 VISTA cohort rolls up the numbers, as shown in the infographic (left), prepared by VLDR Catherine Casteel. But just imagine how much impact they made that's not accounted for in these tallies!

NC Campus Compact hosts a new, 2-day orientation program for new VISTA members, featuring some hands-on service, a presentation by NC Fund historian Robert Korstad, and relationship building!

The 2015-16 VISTAs get rolling and hit major milestones:

Since August, our newest NC Campus Compact VISTAs have managed 726 volunteers and have raised cash and in-kind donations valued at just over $80,000.

The work of the education-focused VISTAs served 694 students, 224 of whom have entered post-secondary education.

VISTAs serving in Healthy Futures projects reported 249 people experiencing increased food security and 2,653 people receiving support for hunger.

And 120 people received financial literacy education, 520 received job skills training and 43 people were placed in jobs in part because of the work of the Economic Opportunity VISTAs.

Monday, January 4, 2016

NOW AVAILABLE: 2016-17 VISTA Host Site Applications

NC Campus Compact has released the application to host an AmeriCorps VISTA for 2016-17. 

NC Campus Compact member campus units may apply with a community partner OR community-based organizations may apply with a member campus partner.

What is VISTA?
VISTA is an AmeriCorps program that engages individuals in a year of full-time service with a sponsoring organization to create or expand programs that bring individuals and communities out of poverty. The VISTA program was created in 1964 as Volunteers In Service To America. Today, more than 7000 VISTA members serve with community-based organizations and governmental agencies across the United States. Like other AmeriCorps programs, VISTA is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency that seeks to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering.

All VISTA projects must demonstrate four key principles:
Anti-poverty focus
Community empowerment 

The purpose of VISTA is to build capacity of non-profit organizations and communities to help bring individuals and communities out of poverty. Projects should be responsive and relevant to the lives of community residents and engage them in project planning and evaluation. Activities should focus on building capacity of organizations or communities, rather than providing direct service to individuals. As short-term resources designed to create long-term solutions, VISTA must focus on sustainable improvements that will last beyond the VISTA term. Host site applicants should keep these key principles in mind as they consider their plans for a VISTA’s service. 

For more information or to discuss a proposal you may contact VISTA program coordinator, Carolyn Rifkin.

For update and the application, visit the Host Site Application Info page.