Posts Tagged ‘National Service’

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My Service Experiences

March 19, 2013

By Seelypon Phanthip JFAD 1

Service is a part of who I have become. Prior to going to college, I partook in community service projects in which a few of my high school clubs participated. I would help build a house, wrap presents for the holidays, tutor kids in math, or cleanup a wash to make a walking trail. I knew it was the “right” thing to do. However, it was not until I had the opportunity to be a part of the Social Action and Justice (SAAJ) Colloquium at Pepperdine University that I began to scratch the surface of what service truly is. Within SAAJ, I got a taste of what social justice entails. It opened my eyes to the different populations that need services and the vast variety of programs that could be offered.

PVC retreat

In addition to SAAJ, I spent all four of my college years taking part in an AmeriCorps program called Jumpstart, which works with early childhood education. With Jumpstart, I had the opportunity to learn about the need for quality education from a young age and how a simple program like Jumpstart could help bridge the education gap. Through Jumpstart, I gained a position in the Pepperdine Volunteer Center (PVC) staff as a Team Leader for Jumpstart. As a staff member, I was able to dig deeper in social justice and how it relates to the service that I was doing. I led groups on service projects and exposed them to nonprofits in the Greater Los Angeles area. I lead groups of college students in preschool classrooms to try to bridge the education gap. I traveled to Costa Rica to help build a multipurpose center, rebuild habitats for animals, and work with children in an orphanage. I spent time on Skid Row to experience one night as a homeless person. I could not imagine what kind of person I would be if I did not involve myself in all these service projects.

 

Costa Rica

Service is every experience you are giving to another person. As a VISTA, living on a stipend gives me an insight of those who have to endure the struggles of everyday life, paycheck to paycheck. It provides the motivation to make any project I am a part of better than it was before. Service comes in all forms; it is all about seeing every experience in a different light.

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Four New AmeriCorps VISTA Opportunities in Southern Nevada!

March 15, 2013

Four exciting AmeriCorps VISTA opportunities have just opened in sunny Southern Nevada!  Learn about how you can give back to the community through a year of service by reading the summaries below or clicking on the link.  Have questions or want more information? Contact Jacob Murdock at 702-892-2321 or jacobm@uwsn.org.

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Children’s Advocacy Alliance

https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?id=48682

Early Childhood Education has been determined to be a key factor in the level of educational attainment of Nevada’s youth. Because of this, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded a grant to organizations in Nevada who will be creating a collaborative to work to improve early childhood education to all children in Nevada, specifically those who live in poverty. The Children’s Advocacy Alliance is the organization who has been tasked with spearheading the movement to improve early childhood education in the state. The VISTA Member will work with CAA staff members to
coordinate the Early Childhood Education Workgroup. In this role, the Member will develop infrastructure and key relationships that will benefit the CAA in years to come. The Member will work towards the CAA mission by creating a structure to highlight Early Childhood Education issues and provide outreach on behalf of providers that enhance the wellbeing of children & families in need.

United Way of Southern Nevada Access to Healthcare

https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?id=48843

Clark County Nevada has one of the lowest percentages of childhood immunizations ages birth to 3 years old. Clark County Nevada also scores very low in overall health for children. The work of the VISTA member will address this be a targeted approach by engaging community members, school based health clinics and health organizations. Additionally, the VISTA Member will develop a data collection mechanism for our partner agencies and will compare those numbers to the State reported numbers in order to assess the effects of the outreach. The Member will also report these numbers and use the information to research funding opportunities that will result in better access to health care for Southern Nevadans. The VISTA Member will work with United Way of Southern Nevada staff, partner agencies and schools to make health care more readily available to those who are in need.

 

Clark County School District Community School – Partnership Office

https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?id=46141

The VISTA member will outreach to new & existing partners in the community to identify opportunities for youth to volunteer as well as to identify opportunities for community members to volunteer in activities which promote education and student success. The VISTA will develop key talking points & guidelines for conversations, coordinate trainings, place volunteers in school settings as well as develop & maintain a database of volunteer opportunities and completed activities. The VISTA will develop systems to ensure the sustainability of service initiatives beyond the VISTA program. In addition, the VISTA will maintain & enhance a social media campaign to bring community-wide awareness to education themed volunteer opportunities. The VISTA will develop volunteer opportunities that enable community members to become involved in school programs that promote economic development in southern Nevada. Volunteers will be trained and placed in school settings that will prove them with successful & engaging experiences and ones that will also enrich the lives of students. The VISTA will help enable more caring adults to be involved in and positively influence student lives with the goal of helping youth achieve success in school as well as graduate from high school.

HopeLink of Southern Nevada

https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?id=48843

The lack of financial stability among individuals is a significant factor that leads individuals and families to poverty. There is a need in the community to provide a holistic set of resources that can help empower community members with the skills and knowledge to become financially stable. HopeLink is developing a system of Integrated Service Delivery (ISD) in the creation of their Financial Stability Center. The VISTA member would work with staff from HopeLink to assist in the development and implementation of the Financial Stability Center. The VISTA member would research similar resources and best practices, develop partnerships with local agencies to integrate services where gaps currently exist and develop evaluation mechanisms based upon the established goals. Additionally, the VISTA member would be involved in other aspects of HopeLink’s current financial stability programming. The VISTA member would help HopeLink of Southern Nevada empower community members and break the poverty cycle by promoting financial education. The capacity building that the VISTA member will provide will help meet this need in southern Nevada.

AmeriCorps VISTAs in Southern Nevada will receive a modest living allowance of $1078 each month (before taxes). After the successful completion of a term, VISTAs may be eligible to receive a $5,550 education award.  If you have questions about these opportunities, contact Jacob Murdock at 702-892-2321 or jacobm@uwsn.org