AmeriCorps VISTA

Americorps Vista logoMAROON VOLUNTEER CENTER AMERICORPS VISTA PROJECT

The Maroon Volunteer Center AmeriCorps VISTA Project at Mississippi State University links community-minded volunteers with community-based agencies fighting poverty, to develop the educational and economic skill-sets and opportunities of citizens who live in poverty, and provide housing, transportation, and food assistance to individuals living in poverty.
Our VISTA members assist with recruiting and managing volunteers for over 65 local agencies within Oktibbeha County, and with the development of educational programs, food security programs, housing programs, public transportation awareness programs, and financial literacy programs that assist individuals living in poverty.

FOCUS AREAS:  Economic Opportunity, Education, and Healthy Futures

PROJECT SIZE: 16 members (15 VISTAs + 1 VISTA Leader)

LOCATION: Oktibbeha County. Site locations include:

 MSU Food Security Network/Maroon Volunteer Center
 Center for Community-Engaged Learning
 Ms. Smith’s Educational Services
 MSU Extension Center for Economic Education & Financial Literacy (2)
 MSU Extension Healthy Homes Initiative
 Starkville Habitat for Humanity (2)
 Global Care Link (3)
 Emerson Family Resource Center (2)
 Volunteer Starkville
 Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
For the 2017-2018 project year, the Maroon Volunteer Center VISTA Project helped recruit over 7,000 volunteers for over 300 volunteer projects with 60 community partners to perform 28,000 community service hours within Oktibbeha County and the Mississippi Delta.

With the help of our VISTA members, 1,300 tutoring and mentoring hours were logged during the 2017-2018 project year by volunteer mentors and tutors at community locations.

VISTA members assisted with the growth and development of Bulldog Mentors, an official training and placement program for volunteers that are motivated to be certified tutors and mentors within Oktibbeha County. Twenty-six volunteer mentors participated in the program last year, performing one-on-one mentoring with 26 community children and performing over 1,000 service hours.

AmeriCorps VISTA members secured food resources for 131 food-insecure individuals. In total, 2,940 meals were distributed to individuals in need.

At the MSU Extension Center for Economic Education and Financial Literacy, VISTA members assisted with the development of over 20 programs to low resourced participants on Financial Literacy and Economics, reaching over 642 participants. Also, 429 participants demonstrated improved financial knowledge based on program post-assessment results.

Starkville Habitat for Humanity and the Maroon Volunteer Center celebrated the completion of the 9th Maroon Edition Habitat for Humanity home in the fall of 2017. As part of this project, VISTA members helped recruit 300 volunteers to participate in the 3-month home build for a local family in need.

VISTA members assisted with the recruitment and placement of volunteers for MSU’s three largest annual service events: Service DAWGS Day, MLK Day of Service, and the BIG EVENT. In total, 2,000 volunteers completed over 85 community service projects within Oktibbeha County and accumulated over 6,000 hours of service.

For more information and to apply, contact Matthew Monroe at mmonroe@saffairs.msstate.edu