In the spring of 2012, Bridgewater College was awarded an AmeriCorps VISTA grant, which provided the College with three Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) staff members. The goal of AmeriCorps VISTA is fight national poverty.
Bridgewater College’s AmeriCorps VISTA project is the Northeast Neighborhood Revitalization Project, in which the College is partnering with four area non-profits:
- Our Community Place
- Precious Gems Academy
- New Community Project.
Find out more about AmeriCorps VISTA.
How will the project impact the campus?
- Provide more community-centered service-learning courses
- Increase interaction of students and community members across cultures
- Allow students to apply course-based knowledge in “real world” situations
How will the project impact the community?
- Identify and focus community resources on issues within the community
- Build capacity of community agencies to address community issues
- Celebrate the diversity and community resources
- Increase cohesion within the community
Learn more about our VISTA coordinators
Trevor Chase, Community Engagement Coordinator
Service-learning is near and dear to my heart. As an undergraduate, I had several courses that contained service-learning components and even participated in service-learning while studying abroad in Kenya. I will never forget helping a determined group of people in the draught stricken region of the Machakoes build a sand dam to provide a sustainable water source for their community. From a service-learning perspective, I saw the value of communities working together to bring a project to their area, while learning about the issues that pertained to the region.
As a new member of the Bridgewater community, I am excited and looking forward to helping make a positive change on the campus!
Kenisha Commander, Community Development Coordinator
With a degree in social work, I fully understand the importance of utilizing community resources. With great experience in programming, I am able to assist these nonprofits with community events and fundraisers that create community engagement. I am very outgoing and find joy in the smallest things, especially bringing a smile to those that surround me. Becoming a VISTA is one of my greatest achievements yet, because I am eager to assist larger communities with bringing about worldwide equality.
Arielle Martin, Community Relations Coordinator
I graduated from the University of Michigan in December 2011 with a bachelor's degree in cultural anthropology and a minor in medical anthropology. I have always been passionate about learning about different cultures and traveling. I hope to complete my master's in public health and social work and eventually work in the medical field to help create more culturally sensitive healthcare practices. I am very enthusiastic about meeting and working with the Bridgewater community. I hope I can apply my skills to assist these communities in the best way possible.