As the AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer In Service To America) at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, I am honored to be part of the legacy that began in 1964 under President Johnson efforts to fight the "war on poverty." Also known as a "domestic peace corps program," VISTAs work towards sustainable solutions, building capacity of community organizations to address issues that impact economically distressed communities. Through a partnership between HWS Colleges and New York Campus Compact, I served for two of the four years that the grant was awarded to the Center for Community Engagement & Service-Learning (CCESL). The primary foci of my VISTA Assignment Description involved building capacity for Geneva Reads and creating a volunteer engagement strategy for Boys & Girls Club of Geneva. Additionally, I had the opportunity to engage students in the Teen Garden at the Geneva Community Center, recruit students to serve alongside local non-profit advisory board members in the "Honorary Board Program," and assist with facilitating one-time service events including Day for Kids Sake, Book Fest, and Festival of Nations. Upon reflection of the programs I've been privileged to work on, I am proud of the collective efforts we've made towards sustainability and a stronger Geneva.
AmeriCorps VISTA: Kelsey Lagana '10
Community Partners: Boys and Girls Club of Geneva, Geneva Reads, and New York Campus Compact
Site Supervisor: Katie Flowers, Director, CCESL