Hello! My name is Le’Santha Naicker I serve at the Schuylkill River Greenways as their AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer. If you are wondering what AmeriCorps is and what VISTA means I’m here to give you a background on the program, what a VISTA does, and how you can get involved!
AmeriCorps VISTA stands for Volunteers in Service to America it is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency for volunteering, service, and civic engagement. The agency engages millions of Americans in citizen service through its AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs and leads the nation's volunteering and service efforts. The VISTA program started in 1965 under Linden B Johnson with the mission to strengthen organizations that alleviate poverty through volunteering and the mobilization of resources. There are currently 7,000 VISTA’s serving across the United States in various capacities within state/ local governments and nonprofits.
This year I am serving as the second year VISTA with the SRG and am helping to build capacity with several programs. First, I am continuing the Heritage Conservation Corps which is a youth employment program that focuses on building and expanding the Schuylkill River Trail. Second, I am working with community organizations to help build community gardens in Schuylkill County. Third, I am assisting with Project Schuylkill Outdoor Learning Odyssey our environmental mentoring program to high school students. Lastly, I am working on a pollinator garden that will be planted right here in Pottstown’s Riverfront Park (look out for news about volunteering with us for the garden!). I am grateful to work with the SRG and AmeriCorps during this year and to help the surrounding communities.
AmeriCorps VISTA has had such a great impact on different communities throughout the US and it is one of the many AmeriCorps programs that are offered by Corporation for National Community Service. I have had the pleasure to serve with AmeriCorps for two years now (last year I served in NCCC FEMA Corps) and it is a fulfilling way to give back to your community.
Go to https://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps to find out more ways you can serve! #GetThingsDone