On Saturday, June 8th, Campus Compact of New York and Pennsylvania (CCNYPA) hosted their first annual VISTA alumni event at Messiah College. There were approximately 20 VISTAs in attendance ranging in years of service from 1972 to present!
Alumni were welcomed by CCNYPA's Executive Director, Char Gray-Sorensen. VISTA alumni Tom McKeon and Lisa Weaver spoke about the impact service has made in their lives and why they continue to stay connected with CCNYPA. Remarks were also made by State Representative Patty Kim.
The event consisted of networking, sharing stories, playing games, and enjoying hors d'oeuvres. It was a wonderful day celebrating service and we look forward to hosting this event again!
By Francis Miliano, CCNYPA*VISTA serving at Millersville University
On Friday, May 3, 2019, Francis Miliano, a second year CCNYPA*VISTA had the opportunity to present at Millersville University's Community Partners Breakfast about her program, McCaskey Tornado Career Corps. McCaskey Tornado Career Corps is a college and career readiness program that provides programming, resources, and support to the School District of Lancaster High School students grades 9th-12th, to better prepare them for a successful life after graduation.
In the program Francis is responsible for selecting and training approximately 10-12 Millersville students, preferably graduates from McCaskey High School to serve as Career Corps Educators. The Career Corps Educators work with students individually and in small groups by mentoring student participants in externship/job shadow experiences and leading workshops, panels and presentations on college and career readiness.
This year at Millersville's Community Partner Breakfast one of the Career Corps Educators, Javier Brown, who has served as a Career Corps Educator for all three years of the project, was awarded the Newman Civic Fellows Award. This award honors inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. Prior to Javier being awarded the Fellows Award, Francis had the opportunity to highlight many of the program's successes throughout her two terms as an AmeriCorps VISTA.
Throughout the two years that Francis has served as an AmeriCorps VISTA, her program has had a total of 15 Career Corps Educators, serving a total of 760 volunteer hours, facilitating 120 college & career readiness workshops to over 800 School District of Lancaster High School students. During her service, Francis also coordinated a college and career readiness Summer Academy that hosts 9th-12th grade School District of Lancaster students on Millersville's campus for a week exposing them to different career fields and professions through career days, workshops, panels, and more. Francis also created and coordinated a new Dual Enrollment Course, available to both Millersville University and School District of Lancaster students, for the Art of Entrepreneurship course on campus which was structured similar to a startup weekend. This was a pilot course that allowed student participants hands-on experience in creating a business plan while also learning about Entrepreneurism. This course will now be offered throughout the academic year and facilitated by several Millersville professors.
Now that Francis' term is coming to an end her next steps are working as a Legislative Assistant for Representative Mike P. Sturla in the 96th Legislative District (Lancaster County) and returning to Millersville University in Spring 2020 to pursue a Dual Master's Degree in Social Work and Emergency Management.
Welcome to the CCNYPA*VISTA Blog, written for VISTAs, by VISTAs!