CELEBRATING AMERICORPS VISTA WEEK
Downtown Colorado, Inc. has been a sponsoring organization that manages and places VISTA members across the state of Colorado for 6 years. AmeriCorps VISTA members work to reduce poverty through building the capacity of public or non-profit entities that share this goal. VISTA members apply for one year terms and are placed at various host-site communities across the country while they are granted a living stipend and other benefits from the federal government.
All of our DCI-VISTA team members are working on objectives that relate to community and economic development, urban planning, and transit, etc. that coincide with poverty reduction.
We would like to celebrate AmeriCorps VISTA Week by sharing some of the exciting work our current team is doing around the state!
Our program changes year to year but our current sites are:
Longmont DDA- Amy Mullen works with the Longmont Creative District, creating new opportunities for creatives.
Longmont Museum- Courtney Pletcher works to create new education opportunities and equitable access to educational opportunities.
DCI Membership- Kayla Jones manages DCI Membership benefits including managing our URA + Districts calls monthly.
DCI Relations- Morgan Pierce is planning the IN THE GAME conference and has started the Tiny Town program, a monthly convening of Towns with a population under 1,000.
Town of Center- Keith Brockhurst works to increase collaboration and community support for various Town-led initiatives including the development of a 90 acre parcel.
Town of San Luis- We have just begun recruiting for a VISTA to work with the recently formed San Luis Main Street Program, growing their outreach and communications.
Huerfano County- We are now recruiting for a VISTA to support education and job opportunities via the Sector Partnership.
Two Peaks Fitness- We are also recruiting for a HEAL (healthy eating and active living) coordinator to create new programming for kids and adults in Huerfano County.
Colorado Northwest Community College- We are now recruiting for a VISTA to grow the apprenticeship program in Moffat County.
Martin Luther King Day of Service
While the DCI Office was closed for MLK Day the Downtown Capacity Builder VISTA cohort honored Dr. King's legacy with a day of service!
Four members served History Colorado virtually by digitizing their online collection. Members worked with the “Out of the Archive” collection- digitizing ledgers over 140 years old tracking History Colorado’s collection as it grew into what it is today. Digitizing these collections makes it easier for researchers to access the information without having to physically access the now fragile collection. We then had a discussion about the importance of the day with VISTA cohorts from the Community Resource Center and Colorado Nonprofit Development Center. Members discussed Dr. King’s concepts of Beloved Communities and Glossary of Nonviolence and how they apply to their service.
Keith served with Center High School helping students work through the challenges of their capstone projects. Each junior at the school is performing a year long community based project. These include projects such as organizing a Town car show, making and selling dog collars to support an animal shelter, surveying the community for what additional recreational activities they desire, and even supporting an expanded community newsletter. Keith says, “My role was to meet with these students and offer any support or assistance I could. It was a great day of getting to hear their projects, seeing how the Town of Center could support them, and doing anything I could to make them as successful as possible!”
Our team is made possible by a team of amazing supervisors that support VISTAs daily on site. Supervisors offer an additional layer of professional development and ensure our VISTAs are making progress over their year of service. Quarterly we host a Supervisor Meeting to connect with our supervisors, share resources, and address any concerns.
Heart + Soul Training
Quarterly VISTAs attend professional development training. Today the VISTA team will meet virtually to receive Heart & Soul Training. Community Heart & Soul is a resident-driven program that engages the entire population of a town in identifying what they love most about their community, what future they want for it, and how to achieve it. You can read more about the program here.
VISTA is a team sport and we are eternally grateful to all the VISTA members, Supervisors, VISTA Leaders, Portfolio Managers, and community supporters on our team. We are excited to be leading a growing program and are excited to see the next 5 Years of our Downtown Capacity Building VISTA Program.
If you would like to read more about our open positions, you can read more here.