AmeriCorps VISTA

About the Program:

In partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA Program seeks to activate higher education institutions and their partners to work together to make an impact on poverty in their local community. Our host site’s VISTA projects are developed in accordance with AmeriCorps VISTA’s core principles: an antipoverty focus, community empowerment, sustainable solutions and capacity building. Campus Compact VISTA’s build capacity for high impact programs, organizational approaches and collective impact efforts focused on low income individuals in one of the following areas: education, healthy futures, economic opportunity, and Veterans/military families. The Campus Compact VISTA program is a passionate cohort of 70 individuals dedicated to community development, service and making an impact on poverty.

Program Focus Areas:

In alignment with the mission and goals of Campus Compact, our AmeriCorps VISTA program concentrates its capacity building efforts in the following education-based focus areas:

Within this priority area Campus Compact supports projects that leverage a VISTA member to enhance access to services and resources that contribute to school readiness, k-12 success, college access & success, STEM, and/or career & technical education for economically disadvantaged children and youth. AmeriCorps VISTA programs within this priority target new project development in communities with large concentrations of low-income students (e.g., Title 1 schools).

Within this priority area Campus Compact supports projects that leverage a VISTA member to enhance access to services and resources that contribute to improved economic opportunities for economically disadvantaged individuals specifically in the areas of employment/workforce development and bridging the digital divide.

Within this priority area Campus Compact supports projects that leverage a VISTA member to enhance access to services and resources that contribute to improved food security, opioid addiction prevention/recovery, and access to healthcare for economically disadvantaged individuals.

Within this priority area, Campus Compact supports projects that leverage a VISTA member to build capacity for projects that focus on education, economic opportunity and healthy futures for low-income veterans and military families.

About AmeriCorps VISTA

Founded in 1965, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) is a federal anti-poverty program designed to provide needed resources to nonprofit organizations and public agencies to increase their capacity to lift communities out of poverty. In 1993, VISTA was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of national service programs, housed at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

AmeriCorps VISTA supports efforts to alleviate poverty by providing opportunities for its full-time service to create or expand programs designed to empower individuals and communities in overcoming poverty. To learn more about AmeriCorps VISTAclick here.

Meet our VISTA Program Team:

Sharon is thrilled to be leading the Campus Compact VISTA Corps. Sharon was the founding Executive Director of Massachusetts Campus Compact (MACC) and the MACC VISTA program. When family life required relocating away from Massachusetts, Sharon continued to consult with MACC and MACC VISTA working with many of the corps members over the years through training, evaluation support, resource development, and facilitation. Sharon’s career began as an instructor at the Voyageur Outward Bound School and as a teacher of environmental and outdoor education programs following her BA in Psychology from Earlham College. Her passion for education led her to earn a Master’s degree in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and to become involved in the emerging field of service learning. At the Massachusetts Department of Education, Sharon directed the Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium for Community Service Learning and led the statewide organizing effort that resulted in the founding of the Massachusetts Campus Compact in 1995. After working as an independent consultant for years, Sharon left consulting to return to the MACC staff in 2014 as Director of Partnerships and Resource Development and then Co-Director of MACC VISTA, Sharon took over as Director of MACC VISTA during the 2016-17 program year and helped develop the Campus Compact Southern New England VISTA program. Sharon balances work with her own active community and family life. When not working with Campus Compact VISTA, you will find her volunteering in the Framingham schools, running swim meets and driving carpool.

Sharon can be reached at: sbassett@compact.org

Tasia is excited to re-join the Campus Compact network. Originally from, Miami, Florida. Tasia attended Spelman College where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. After college, she joined the Campus Compact network through the Massachusetts Campus Compact (MACC) AmeriCorps VISTA Program where she served at Pine Manor College. At Pine Manor, Tasia developed and implemented a service-learning course that incorporated hands-on experience in New Orleans for students in support of the rebuilding of the city and the surrounding communities after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Tasia served as co-VISTA Leader for two years before transitioning to work in the non-profit sector and higher education where she supported low to moderate income teens and families in roles such as Volunteer Coordinator, Teen Center Director and Educational Advisor. Her work within higher education and her passion for community work encouraged her to pursue her Master’s degree in Education with a concentration of Community Engagement from Merrimack College. Tasia is devoted to institution – community relationships which can provide a holistic approach to student support from all backgrounds while promoting institutional access to all communities.

Tasia can be reached at: tcerezo@compact.org

As a Michigan native, Chelsey is a graduate from Michigan State University where she studied Social Work and Spanish. After graduation, Chelsey served as a Team Leader and Unit Development Assistant for AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) in the Southwest Region where she completed service projects that spanned from flood recovery to tax preparation. From there, Chelsey joined the Peace Corps as a Community Economic Development volunteer in Paraguay.  Through community asset mapping, she partnered with the local municipality, school district, and youth groups to complete town beautification projects and develop courses in financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and leadership. By the end of her service, Chelsey decided to return to school so as to broaden her understanding of sustainable development and NGO management. She will be graduating from DePaul University in June 2020 with a Master’s in Public Administration and International Public Management. While completing her degree, Chelsey worked as a Marketing Coordinator with a legal association. She is looking forward to re-joining the AmeriCorps community and offers a diverse background in program management and development. When not at work or writing a paper for school, Chelsey prefers to spend time outdoors with her dog or reading a good book under a blanket with her cat.

Chelsey can be reached at: chudson@compact.org

Aly grew up on Cape Cod. Following her undergraduate years at Saint Michael’s College, where she studied Spanish and Political Science, Aly pursued a career in the legal field as a paralegal. After becoming involved with Big Sister of Greater Boston as a mentor, Aly was inspired and sought a career and life change. She joined the Peace Corps and served in Guyana, where she worked in a primary school from 2015-2017. Aly collaborated with community partners, including youth from her school, to develop a library where students could borrow books, community members could volunteer, and teachers had the opportunity to incorporate new reading materials into their lessons. Following her service, Aly wanted to learn more about community-based development; in 2019, Aly completed a Master’s in International Development and Social Change from Clark University. Aly enjoyed learning about youth and community development, monitoring and evaluation, grant-writing and project management. She is excited to share and further develop her new knowledge and skills as a Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA Leader. Aly lives with her adopted Guyanese fur-babies: a cat named Bora (Guyanese for “string bean”) and a dog named Phoenix. She enjoys making pottery on a wheel, painting, and binge-watching Netflix with her pets.

Aly can be reached at: akenney@compact.org

Maria Peace is an aspiring community organizer with a background in education. She has an MA in Intercultural Studies from Moody Theological Seminary, as well as an MS in Multidisciplinary Studies for International Teachers from SUNY Buffalo. Her undergraduate degree was in English Language Teaching from Bosphorus University in Istanbul, Turkey, and she is a CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) certified teacher. She has taught internationally for two years in Kyiv, Ukraine. She taught fifth grade her first year and Russian language to non-native speakers, her second year. Maria currently lives in Chicago. 

Maria can be reached at: mpeace@compact.org

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