Building and Sustaining a Legacy of Service

January 1, 2021

The Campus Compact network has a 20+ year history of partnering with national service programs to advance the civic mission of higher education and to meet the needs and priorities of local communities. Through partnerships with AmeriCorps’ VISTA and State and National programs, Campus Compact and its state affiliates have collaborated with higher education institutions and community partners to address critical community priorities such as food insecurity, college access and success, high school degree completion, environmental stewardship, and access to care and community services. Our AmeriCorps programs have mobilized people and resources to support community members most affected and marginalized by poverty. Our national service tradition continues and remains a cornerstone of the Compact’s work. 

Throughout its history, Campus Compact’s structure has evolved to advance our mission under changing circumstances. We started in 1985 as a national organization and then grew through the establishment of affiliated state Compacts. Over time, regional Compacts were added to the mix. Beginning in 2017, state and regional Compacts had the opportunity to integrate into the national organization. We chose to make this shift to increase connectivity, provide better support for members, and maximize our shared impact. Affiliated Compacts serving Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Wyoming chose to integrate into Campus Compact, the national organization. Campus Compact now directly serves 30 states.  As a result of these organizational changes, Campus Compact operates two AmeriCorps projects, the Campus Compact VISTA program and the K2H Civic Futures program. 

The Campus Compact VISTA program resulted from the merger of four active projects in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island into one national initiative. While the programs have adapted over through our organizational changes, the focus continues to be on building the capacity of anti-poverty-focused programs on campuses and in local communities. Our host sites’ VISTA projects align with AmeriCorps VISTA’s core principles: an antipoverty focus, community empowerment, sustainable solutions, and capacity building. AmeriCorps members who serve with the VISTA program build capacity for programs, organizations, and collective impact initiatives that support low-income individuals in the following areas: education, healthy futures, economic opportunity, and veterans/military families. During the 2020-21 Program Year, AmeriCorps members served at Campus Compact VISTA projects in CT, IL, MA, MI, NE, RI, VA, and WI.   

Founded by Campus Compact of the Mountain West in 2018, the K2H Civic Futures AmeriCorps Program engages youth from kindergarten through higher education (K to H) to solve complex problems. AmeriCorps members serving with K2H organize community-engaged civic learning activities for youth that connect academic content with real-world issues. Through the Civic Futures program, K-12 serving organizations and higher education institutions build partnerships that strengthen a pipeline for civic learning and engagement, which create opportunities for youth to be meaningfully involved in their communities. The project was designed and launched in Colorado and Wyoming and will be expanding to include other states across the country over the next few years.  

Our country and communities face significant economic, racial, and environmental injustices that negatively impact hundreds of millions of people in the United States. Despite these issues that often divide us, we are unified in answering the call for deep learning and meaningful sustained civic action that produces healing and transformation. Our AmeriCorps programs are real, actionable commitments to advancing the civic mission and serving our communities. By mobilizing people across the nation to serve, we activate people to make a difference in their communities and the lives of the people they serve. 

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