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Archive for the ‘Millennial Generation’ Category

Advocacy is for Everybody!

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on September 4, 2012

Post by Nicole Schmidt, ServeNext Organizer for Ohio

Is there an issue that you care deeply about as a voter? I care about National Service and since you are reading this blog I assume you do too!

This election season, we are talking a lot about who we are voting for and why but voting is only the first step if you want to be a more engaged citizen. We cannot assume that our law makers know what is important to us as a constituent. Our law makers are not super human mind readers! They depend on their constituents to educate them about issues affecting their state. Advocacy is for everyday people who care about their country. People just like you and me. That’s why I love the work I do for ServeNext. I connect law makers with people on the ground in Ohio working to better their communities.

On Friday August 24th I arranged for a group of National Service Stakeholders to meet with Senator Brown’s Deputy State Director Beth Thames. We took her on a site visit to Towards Employment in Cleveland. This is a great organization that is empowering individuals to achieve and maintain self sufficiency through employment. We had representatives from several different organizations present to share how Americorps members help to meet community needs through service. The highlight of our visit was the tour of the jobs lab. We were able to see an Americorps member teaching a class on resume preparation, and how to complete a successful job interview. This was a huge hit! Ms. Thames was able to meet the actual recipients of service, and understand the impact Americorps members have on families here in Ohio. We are looking forward to our next visit with Senator Brown’s office.

On Wednesday August 29th, our ServeNext Ohio team had the opportunity to meet with Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. We were so pleased that she took the time to hear about the important work being done by national service members in her district. During her visit Congresswoman Kaptur voiced her strong support for the CNCS. We shared with her our need for a champion on the Hill and asked her to consider joining the National Service Caucus. She said “I would be happy to join the National Service Caucus.” Our team was very pleased with her support and look forward to future opportunities with Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. Check out The Chronicle Telegram article about our visit.

I hope that you will join ServeNext in speaking up for National Service! If you don’t, who will?

Nicole can be reached by email at nschmidt@servenext.org or by phone at 567-224-7113.

Posted in Advocacy and Policy, Millennial Generation | Leave a Comment »

Summer of Service – Part I.

Posted by Morgan St. Jean on July 9, 2012

Shayla Price at the start of her summer of service

What does one think of when they think of a national service member?  The ideas are endless, which at once is both an advantage and challenge.  On the plus side, national service has been used to aid communities, states, and our nation in great times of need.  The downside is that there is not a singular definition or example that embodies the impact national service makes in our country every day.  To help demonstrate the impact service and service members have, ServiceNation’s ServceNext Initiative has launched ‘Stories of Service,’ a summer-long series that will capture first-person accounts from service members currently deployed across the country.

Our inaugural post in this series is from Shayla Price, an extraordinary woman who has devoted her life to service. She is serving for 8 weeks as an AmeriCorps VISTA member fighting poverty.

Summer of Service – Part I.

Guest post by Shayla R. Price

Service is an integral part of who I am. Through community service, I have had the opportunity to tutor kids, clean up parks, and raise money for great nonprofits.

As a commissioner for Volunteer Louisiana, a policy-making body for national service efforts in the state, I help distribute funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service to organizations and schools that make a substantial commitment to service. For the past three years on the board, I have heard countless positive, impactful stories from AmeriCorps members.

Those service experiences inspired me. That’s why I decided to join the front lines in the fight against poverty in America. Right now, I am officially an AmeriCorps VISTA! For a total of eight weeks, I will be serving at Harvesters, a food bank in Kansas City, Missouri.

Last week, my summer of service kicked off with great success. Alongside eight other VISTA members, I will be improving the lives of area residents by increasing their access to good, nutritious food.

Hunger is a real issue. In Harvesters’ 26-county direct service area, more than 375,000 people are food insecure.  Furthermore, 125,000 children lack access to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle. Learn about hunger facts in your area by visiting Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap.

During training, I learned that Harvesters has a network of more than 620 nonprofit agencies. Their network includes emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters. The food bank provides assistance to more than 66,000 different people each week.

Feeding More. Feeding Better. Through Harvesters’ Agency University, the food bank equips its agencies with the necessary resources to feed its clients. Organizations do not pay for the food products. One of my duties will be to monitor these agencies through site inspections. The main purpose of monitoring is to ensure every agency is in compliance with the rules.

In my first week, I had the opportunity to observe the monitoring of a Kids Café, a program that provides free meals and snacks to low-income children. I learned about the USDA’s food safety rules, child nutrition labels, and civil rights compliance.

In addition, I participated in SNAP (food stamps program) outreach at a mobile food pantry. During the site visit, my fellow service members and I handed out brochures explaining SNAP eligibility requirements and benefits. We also helped the community members bag green beans and nectarines for distribution to the long lines of parents, kids, and senior citizens.

I am looking forward to building systems and creating solutions to fight hunger. With a great team of diverse individuals, I am ready to teach kids about nutrition, distribute food to seniors, and conduct SNAP outreach.  I truly believe in Harvesters’ mission—feed hungry people today and work to end hunger tomorrow.

About Shayla

Shayla R. Price is an attorney and an advocate for ending childhood hunger. She has promoted community service as a governor-appointed commissioner for Volunteer Louisiana. Prior to government service, Price worked as a marketing director for ProgressiveU.org, a social welfare organization that sought to give high school and college students a voice.

While in high school, she earned more than $100,000 in college scholarships. She authored the book titled “The Scholarship Search: A Guide to Winning Free Money for College and More.” She has been featured in several publications, including “Better Homes & Gardens,” “Seventeen,” and “Black Enterprise.” Price was also named one of EBONY magazine’s 2009 Young Leaders and received the first-ever Emerging Greatness Award.

Posted in AmeriCorps, Corporation for National and Community Service, Millennial Generation, National Service, service, Stories Of Service, Volunteerism | 1 Comment »

 
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