Building Community in Worcester through Service
The Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA program is a national program that mobilizes higher education and community partnerships to improve education outcomes for students and their families who live in poverty across the United States. VISTA projects are developed in accordance with AmeriCorps VISTA’s core principles: poverty alleviation, community empowerment, sustainable solutions, and capacity building. AmeriCorps VISTA members commit a year of full-time service to build capacity for an organization, earn a modest living allowance, and gain access to professional development.
Campus Compact currently has 65+ VISTA members placed at colleges, universities and non-profit organizations nationally, with 37 of those serving in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Campus Compact VISTAs are charged with addressing poverty and inequality through five key focus areas: education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, economic success and veterans & military families.
Several Campus Compact VISTAs are completing their year of service in Worcester and they are eager to build the capacity of the institutions and communities where they are serving. After completing degrees in Worcester from Clark University, four Campus Compact VISTAs are excited to continue Clark’s culture of community engagement, service and life-long learning through a year of service. Matthew Alvarado-Ross (‘17), is serving as a VISTA for a second year with Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) on Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) outreach. Charlie Malwitz (‘18) and Elizabeth Jones (‘19), are both serving at Campus Compact in the Southern New England office located at the heart of downtown Worcester. Charlie and Elizabeth are researching and mapping PK-12 and college programs and partnerships that support student access, retention, and success across southern New England. Aly Kenney (G’19), a lifelong resident of Massachusetts, is the new Campus Compact VISTA Leader, tasked with training & member development for the VISTA corps. After completing Peace Corps Service in Guyana (2015-2017), Aly received a Master’s Degree from Clark University in International Development & Social Change.
Aly Kenney, explains her take on making Worcester her home after graduating from Clark: “Community service has always been a huge part of my life. I couldn’t think of a better way to give back to a community [Worcester] that has fostered my own personal and professional growth as a graduate student, than using the knowledge and skills I learned at Clark, to serve with Campus Compact”.