This fall we have two new AmeriCorps volunteers working at Marylhurst, and I want to share some information about their programs as well as about our university’s partnership with AmeriCorps.
First – what is AmeriCorps? AmeriCorps helps communities meet their education, public safety, human or environmental needs through service.
Olivia Yeung is our new Alumni Mentor Program coordinator, working closely with the Career Services program. She is the third and final AmeriCorps volunteer in this position (the grant is limited to 3 years and this is its third year). Olivia’s position is in place to help us create a sustainable mentoring program for students and alums.
Amanda Baker is our other AmeriCorps volunteer this year, and she is serving as the NEW Marylhurst Service Program coordinator. In this year-long position, she will launch the start of a 3-year program development process in which we will:
- Integrate service-learning into our educational offerings;
- Create sustainable service activities for faculty, staff, students, and friends to participate in;
- Create service-oriented partnerships to help support 1 and 2 above.
Campus Compact – a national coalition of over 1,100 college and university presidents dedicated to promoting service-learning, civic engagement, and community service in higher education – is the organization that facilitates Amanda’s AmeriCorps position. Marylhurst’s President Judi Johansen became a member of this coalition, allowing us to work with Campus Compact to launch service-learning programs here with the aid of their incredible support and resources.
Here are the key benefits of our partnerships with AmeriCorps:
- The partnerships allow us to develop sustainable programs with fewer resources. The intent is that a volunteer helps provide the labor and focused attention to create a sustainable program. After three years, the university is expected to have a program that it can support on its own.
- The partnerships provide us access to a bank of resources and connections to other universities that are doing similar programs; the connections to people and ideas are incredibly helpful.
- The partnerships are a good “match” in terms of our university’s strategic focus on service – AmeriCorps programs have a mission of service.
Both programs are focused on serving all of Marylhurst’s community – including those who may be online and/ or do not live here.
- If you have ideas for supporting our students and alums through mentoring, please connect with Olivia.
- If you have ideas for service-oriented projects and programs, please connect with Amanda.
Amanda and Olivia both have offices on campus – in Marian Hall – and are here in order to help all of us. They also need our support as well in order to be successful in their positions here. So if you’re on campus, please stop by and introduce yourselves, and do what you can to help them launch these programs for our university.