Local nonprofits will celebrate the impact of national service during National AmeriCorps Week March 10-18.
“The purpose is to inform the public how AmeriCorps members are changing communities, including right here in central Minnesota,” said Angela Brown, who is part of the VISTA program based at Central Lakes College, in a news release.
VISTA was formed in 1964 as Volunteers in Service to America as part of the War on Poverty. In this program, national service members serve full-time for one year in local nonprofits and government agencies to bolster their anti-poverty efforts. VISTAs work with programs that strengthen education, improve economic opportunity, provide disaster services and support healthy futures, environmental stewardship and veterans and military families.
This year in Brainerd the Central Lakes College Foundation and Brainerd Lakes Area Women’s Fund have co-sponsored Brown, who is from St. Cloud, to facilitate a two-fold project designed to improve economic opportunities for Central Lakes College students and alumni, especially low-income, first-generation college women.
Brown is working with the Women’s Fund to create marketing and orientation materials for the volunteers and participants of “Presenting Yourself,” a five-part workshop series initiated by the Women’s Fund to mentor and empower college women to gain skills and networks to achieve their academic and career goals. The push for internships and career-readiness project development has come from the high unemployment and poverty rates in the Brainerd lakes area. Driving students to complete internships is vital to obtain both a foot in the door and career-related experience, Brown said.
The partnership with the Women’s Fund and Presenting Yourself for first-generation college women is another way CLC is equipping its students with the tools necessary to build successful futures.
Local AmeriCorps VISTAs are sponsored and supported by the Initiative Foundation, based in Little Falls, in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service which coordinates AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps), AmeriCorps State and National and Senior Corps.
For information visit www.ifound.org or AmeriCorps.gov. For information on how to become involved with the Presenting Yourselfprogram or about internships, please contact Angela Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.