The Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC) and partners are hosting more than 130 AmeriCorps VISTA members to serve as Summer Associates for the 2022 summer term.
There are multiple teams for upcoming Summer Associate service projects, including Environmental Stewardship and Climate Corps, Community Resiliency, Communications, and Disaster Preparedness and Response.
MCSC fellows with Climate Corps will implement climate change resiliency projects with government, higher education, and nonprofit organizations. Individuals will engage communities to explore environmental justice and climate change solutions in their service to economically underserved communities across Michigan.
Community Resiliency fellows will work to support capacity building in various areas, including on issues relating to health, education, veterans, disaster recovery, economic opportunity, or equity and social justice.
Disaster Preparedness and Response fellows will assist in supporting and responding to communities who have experienced natural disasters and help them with long-term recovery. They will also assist them in developing disaster preparedness and response community plans.
“Service is crucial both to those who are being served, but also for the volunteers who gain the life experience of watching their service impact others,” said MCSC Executive Director Ginna Holmes.
Summer Associates will be serving at host sites focusing on community health, neighborhood revitalization, older adult health and computer knowledge, summer youth camps, and college readiness programs from one end of the state to the other.
Last summer, the Michigan Community Service Commission hosted 136 AmeriCorps VISTA members that provided service to 32 different organizations throughout the state of Michigan.
The Resilience team compiled and categorized over 3,000 nonprofit organizations into the Michigan Nonprofit Guide, a resource used to categorize nonprofits by location, donation or volunteer need, type of service, and more.
The Climate Corps team also added resources that support climate initiatives.
Last summer, ten divisions of the College Access Network (CAN) throughout the state assisted high school seniors with financial aid, college tours, resume building, college correspondence and selection, budgeting, college prep, and more. Over 2,774 students were positively impacted by their service.
The VISTAs that assisted the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO) in Benton Harbor helped coordinate a COVID-19 Hotline to keep their community informed about the vaccine and hosted weekly water drives serving water resources to over 100 residents each week.
In the Upper Peninsula, a group of VISTAs harvested food to feed to their community and taught classes about nutritional eating. Over 500 residents benefit from this program. Another group of VISTAs supported summer school activities for elementary, middle school and high school students in Sault St Marie School District.
Their statewide service impacted thousands of people in a variety of service projects.
This summer, we are excited to see the impact these new Summer Associates have within the partner organizations and our state.
“These new VISTA members are eager and motivated to complete the goals of their host sites and their individual goals as well throughout the term and I am very grateful for their enthusiasm toward service!” said MCSC VISTA Program Coordinator, Patrice Henderson.
“I think we all could learn a bit from them and their willingness to do good in and around the state.”