CAFB Salutes AmeriCorps and Alumni
May 11, 2010 § Leave a comment
It’s National AmeriCorps Week, a time to recognize the transformational impact AmeriCorps volunteers have on communities. AmeriCorps, also known as the domestic “Peace Corps”, provides year-long volunteer opportunities for adults. During their service, members receive a modest living allowance (the amount is set at 105% of the poverty income threshold in our community). Upon successful completion of their year of service, members can earn the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award or post-service stipend.
According to nationalservice.gov, last year AmeriCorps recruited more than 2.4 million community volunteers, raised over $183 million in support of local service initiatives, and helped place more than 7,700 people in jobs. CAFB’s current operating grant provides six VISTAs to help build capacity in the areas of: Communications, Food Development, Volunteer Resources, Development/Donor Research and Agency Relations. Our VISTAs challenge and enhance our internal systems to better efficiency, effectiveness and community impact.
We asked former and current CAFB AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers to share their thoughts about how the program has changed their perspective and broadened opportunities.
There is no single solution to poverty. Everyone has a different story to tell. The more I learn about poverty, the more I realize I don’t know anything at all.
– Alese Colehour, StoryBank VISTA
My AmeriCorps experience brought a more humanist perspective to my professional interests in Environmental Law. When researching and analyzing environmental issues like land use and water rights disputes, I think about how environmental access and rights affect social welfare. This helps inform my analysis and ensure that all environmental and social consequences are considered.
– Stephanie Erickson, Volunteer Resources VISTA (alumni)
While serving as a VISTA, there are limits placed on your political activity. My VISTA experience made me realize that policy and politics are very much part of the hunger story in America and was the catalyst for my interest advocacy and politics.
– Lisa Goddard, Online Marketing VISTA (alumni)
Working as a VISTA gave me the opportunity to do meaningful work with the support of an established and well-organized nonprofit. I was given unique opportunities that broadened my professional experience and allowed me to lead and learn simultaneously. It also gave me the tremendous privilege of seeing the impact of my work, which has remained a high value for me professionally and personally.
– Meredith Mull, Capacity Building VISTA (alumni)
Thank you, AmeriCorps volunteers for all you have done, and continue to do to help end hunger in Central Texas.
“This is why I believe hunger is unacceptable: because a loaf of bread or a bag of apples is a small cost for giving someone hope.” by Alese Colehour, Communications VISTA
Ten Days Without a Glass of Milk by William Hubenschmidt, Development Research VISTA (alumni)