AmeriCorps VISTA at the Center for Civic Engagement

The Center for Civic Engagement at the College of Charleston is currently looking for a Charleston Area Service Collective AmeriCorps VISTA for June 2021- June 2022. VISTAs come from numerous backgrounds with different professional goals, but all are prepared to take on leadership roles in planning and facilitating service projects and inspiring students, faculty, staff, and community members to take action together. VISTAs act as change agents on their prescribed campus and in the surrounding community and have a demonstrated commitment to community service and social justice.

The program is seeking candidates with strong written and verbal communication skills who will empower communities, leverage institutional resources, and build capacity for sustainable social change.

More information able to the position and application can be found on Handshake.

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VISTA Assignment Objectives and Member Activities

Goal of the Project: The goal for the Center for Civic Engagement VISTA will work to build the capacity of programs that engage volunteers in anti-poverty-related initiatives within the Charleston community that specifically align with the Healthy Futures focus area. The VISTA will focus efforts on building relationships with community partners specifically dedicated to supporting access to care and access to food within impoverished communities in Charleston through recurring service opportunities engaging students affiliated with the Center for Civic Engagement. The VISTA will focus efforts on recruiting, guiding, and educating volunteers from the College of Charleston in activities that support the initiatives of community partners to alleviate poverty and to improve the overall health and wellbeing of the community.

Objective of the Assignment
The VISTA will work with local community partners to provide recurring service and one-time service events throughout the academic year specifically focused on supporting access to care, food, etc. within the community.

Member Activities:

  • Work in partnership with Charleston-based community organizations to provide ongoing volunteers by facilitating regular service and educational opportunities.
  • Coordinate Healthy Futures focused service opportunities and events in conjunction with Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week in November and QEP Day of Service in the spring. The VISTA will also manage an online presence for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week that provides a context for community members and local organizations to share problems and strategies related to providing access to care for those experiencing food insecurity and a lack of affordable housing.
  • Recruit student volunteers to participate in these recurring service initiatives.
  • Coordinate logistics and intentional education, orientation, training, and reflection for volunteer participation in service and education opportunities.

Objective of the Assignment
Through VISTA activities, outreach initiatives will be created and maintained to develop and sustain civic engagement partnerships within the community.

Member Activities:

  • Assist with the implementation of a volunteer “fair” to highlight local community organizations’ volunteer needs. Engage with participating community partners to identify ongoing volunteer opportunities for recruitment initiatives. This may be designed as an in-person fair, a virtual event, an ongoing social media feature, etc.
  • Assist with the coordination and implementation of education, service activities, and critical reflection regarding issues related to community development
  • Re-establish community communications throughout the year:
    • a) Update volunteer opportunities;
    • b) Produce quarterly community partner newsletters;
    • c) Manage social media outlets (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) to promote and support the work of community organizations and recruit informed student volunteers;
    • d) Create a weekly volunteer digest email to distribute across the CCE volunteer listserv to share service needs requested by community partners
  • Meet with students to discuss service opportunities and respond to inquiries regarding service involvement in the Charleston community.

Objective of the Assignment
The VISTA will focus on alleviating the negative impacts of poverty at the College of Charleston where about 30% of College of Charleston are housing insecure and 30% are food insecure.

Member Activities:

  • The project will allow the VISTA to locate and create resources that are available to College of Charleston students. In turn, they will share these resources widely through our website, social media, listserv, tabling, etc.
  • Work with other departments on campus to ensure the availability and promotion of an on-campus pantry.
  • The VISTA will work with the Bonner Leader Program which focuses on creating educational access to students who are first-generation, high need, and/or students of color.

Program Benefits: Living Allowance, Choice of Education Award or End of Service Stipend, Relocation Allowance, Childcare assistance if eligible, Health Benefit, Training, and Professional Development, Parking pass.

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