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AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer to Increase Heal the Sick’s Capacity

Jun 25 2014

Maryland-DC Campus Compact Continues Partnership with Wesley with second volunteer in two years

Maryland-District of Columbia Campus Compact and AmeriCorps VISTA have committed a long-term volunteer resource to Wesley Theological Seminary. This young-adult volunteer will work for Wesley’s Heal the Sick Program during the 2014-2015 school year. This service-learner volunteer will be based at Wesley Downtown, the seminary’s downtown location, but focused primarily on serving the faith communities of Baltimore, Maryland. This is Wesley’s second year serving as a Maryland-DC Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA host site.

The new MDCCC AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, Lesli Vaughan, will support and broaden the reach of the Heal the Sick Program. Her work will increase the capacity of this community-based ministry collaboration, which seeks to equip congregations and community partners to reduce health disparities. The Heal the Sick program accomplishes this by offering certificate programs, community workshops and other outreach initiatives.

“I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the Baltimore neighborhoods and working within the community alongside the congregations on improving the health of the residents,” said Vaughan.

Committed to one year of full-time work on a specific project for anti-poverty organizations and agencies, AmeriCorps VISTA members build the capacity of these organizations to deliver direct services to people living in poverty. VISTA members may build capacity by creating new programs, writing grants, recruiting volunteers, improving health services or raising money, among other services. AmeriCorps VISTA funds its members with living allowance, health coverage, end of service education award, travel reimbursement and orientation costs.

MDCCC—acting as liaison between the host institution, Wesley, and the AmeriCorps VISTA state office—will also provide technical and logistical support for improving the program, provide development training for the VISTA member and conduct monthly check-ins with the MDCCC AmeriCorps VISTA member with feedback from his or her progress reports.

As host for the MDCCC AmeriCorps VISTA member, Wesley Downtown will provide on-the-job training, submit progress reports to MDCCC and assist the VISTA member in identifying objectives and mentors, among other duties.

Created in 1965 by The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, Volunteers in Service to America, now VISTA, is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Having joined AmeriCorps in 1993, VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for 45 years. For more information, visit nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/americorps-vista.

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