AMERICORPS VISTA

Keep Greenville County Beautiful is searching for an AmeriCorps VISTA member to serve in a year-long position as a community garden fellow and be a part of the larger Keep America Beautiful VISTA '20-21 cohort!

According to the Corporation for National & Community Service, "AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members bring passion and perseverance where the need is greatest: to organizations that help eradicate poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA members serve as a catalyst for change, living and working alongside community members to meet our nation’s most pressing challenges and advance local solutions."

As a community garden fellow with Keep Greenville County Beautiful, the AmeriCorps VISTA member will be working with Greenville community members to establish new community gardens and maintain existing gardens in Greenville County. They will develop and strengthen partnerships with local governmental and nonprofit organizations to assist garden creation and maintenance, maintain and grow a volunteer network, and develop curriculum and advertising material for the community garden program. Their ultimate goal will be to improve access to nutritious, decrease food insecurity for individuals and families living in poverty in Greenville County.

MEET OUR 2019-2020 AMERICORPS VISTA MEMBER

"I joined KGCB through AmeriCorps VISTA in June 2019. AmeriCorps VISTA is one of the three branches of AmeriCorps where members are placed with a nonprofit organization or public agency full-time, for one year, in order to build the capacity of those organizations. That means doing things like generating more resources through grants and donations, recruiting and managing volunteers, and empowering individuals and communities through social and community outreach, program development, and more.

 

I applied for AmeriCorps during my senior year of undergrad at Furman University, where I majored in Public Health and Spanish. I was looking for a way to gain some real-world experience in a public health field before I pursued my Masters degree in public health nutrition. When I found this position with KGCB, focusing on creating and maintaining existing community gardens in Greenville, I knew that it would be the perfect opportunity to apply my public health and Spanish knowledge while gaining the experience I was seeking, and also learning hands-on about food insecurity, public health nutrition, and nonprofit work.

This year definitely exceeded my expectations of what I thought I would learn and gain as a VISTA. Over the course of my service year, I have become a certified Master Gardener intern to aid our community garden projects. Outside of community gardens, I have gained skills in web development and graphic design through designing our brochures, promotional materials, and website. I have learned important tools for volunteer recruitment and management, become proficient in writing grants, utilized and improved my Spanish-speaking skills through material translation and working with Greenville’s Hispanic community, and built valuable, lasting community partnerships.

One of the most rewarding parts of being a VISTA is the network of VISTAs around the country and the tight community that is formed through service. I am one of eight Keep America Beautiful VISTAs nationwide, each placed at a different KAB affiliate to decrease food insecurity and empower communities through community garden development and maintenance. The VISTA network also goes beyond your own cohort or area. Over the past year, I have met VISTAs working in all different areas of public service, from all backgrounds, ages, and abilities, all affecting positive change in their communities.

I would recommend AmeriCorps to anyone (it’s not just for recent grads!). There have definitely been challenges, but they have by far been overshadowed by the community I have gained, the skills I have developed, and the personal and professional growth I have experienced." - Sean Thompson, AmeriCorps VISTA Community Garden Fellow

© May 26, 2020 by

Keep Greenville County Beautiful 

301 University Ridge Ste 3800, Greenville, SC 29601

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