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AmeriCorps vista at WVU
Civil Rights and Diversity Design 4-HWork with the Director of Compliance to review recruitment strategies of minorities into Extension youth and adult programs, as well as volunteers in West Virginia Counties with minority population >3%. Assist with developing strategies and marketing materials (youth, STEM, Agriculture, underrepresented programs) to seek minority participation in Extension programming in all 55 counties. Assist in developing a tool (exit interview) of why we do not retain employees and 4-H members in becoming youth volunteers. Support all 55 county Extension Offices to increase minority population who participate in Extension programming. More focus will be placed on counties that have greater than 3% minority population.
The VISTA member will assist in developing community engagement and service opportunities for members of the Ascend WV program with the goal of creating meaningful and positive experiences with their new home. This person will also help us to identify ways of supporting and nurturing the community of remote workers that exist in and beyond our program. Additionally, this person will help us foster a collaborative and mutually beneficial relationship with local partners and stakeholders by pursuing opportunities for collective engagement. Ascend, WV a remote worker attraction and retention program in West Virginia, aims to not only attract remote workers to the Mountain State, but support them as they relocate in pursuit of a better quality of life, purposeful connection with their chosen community, and an outdoor driven lifestyle. The VISTA member will be a part of the Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative at West Virginia University, which manages and operates the program in partnership with the West Virginia Department of Tourism.
Enhance VISTA project success by supporting recruitment and selection of high-quality VISTAs to ensure project success. Continue to develop and conduct orientation and training opportunities to equip VISTA members with knowledge and skills related to the project. Enhance VISTA project and member effectiveness by facilitating the VISTA team, supporting team members in their work, and monitoring member monthly reports. Enhance VISTA project stability and sustainability. The VISTA Leader program is open to members who have served at least one year as a VISTA. VISTA Leader efforts will seek to alleviate poverty by raising awareness and promoting service engagement, especially for low-income students. The VISTA Leader will oversee all VISTA members, assisting members as they connect with WVU faculty, community partners, and local units using service as learning to provide direct pathways to volunteer learning experiences, both in class and in the community, that encourage enrollment and enhance retention of students on all campuses. The VISTA Leader will recruit, coordinate with, and support each of the VISTA members to help increase their impact. Through the VISTA Leader efforts, they will increase and enhance the number of innovative service-learning opportunities at WVU, as well as raise awareness of iServe and the opportunities to streamline service data.
Collaborative Data Management
The VISTA Collaborative member will build West Virginia University’s capacity by collecting data, organizing a codebook, and preparing the data for an online portal/dashboard. Finally, the VISTA Collaborative member will build West Virginia University’s capacity by advertising and promoting the online portal/dashboard to appropriate stakeholder agencies that programming will benefit and elevate from this extensive resource. WVU has collected large amounts of community engagement data. We would like to make that data available to communities, colleges and researchers through a web portal and dashboard. We will begin to organize community engagement data from across colleges at WVU to strengthen their programs and engagement efforts to combat various health-related issues plaguing West Virginia to increase student retention and success. As a result of the VISTA member's service, WVU will have an organized database which will be used to support various local non-profit agencies and academic departments to improve volunteering and engagement West Virginia communities.