- A University of Southern Mississippi-based center has received
a grant of nearly $212,000 to continue a service-learning
program that provides opportunities for impoverished children
and adults across the state.
grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service
to the Mississippi Center for Community and Civic Engagement
will allow continuation of the center's AmeriCorps*VISTA program
for the 2003 calendar year.
is a program that uses America's greatest resource
its bright, compassionate people to help revitalize
its poorest communities and provide opportunities for its
many impoverished children and adults," said Dr. Tom
Schnaubelt, CCCE director.
Mississippi AmeriCorps* VISTA service-learning initiative
focuses on tutoring underachieving children, providing high-quality
after-school programs, and promoting service-learning in Mississippi
schools and institutions of higher learning," added program
Director Celeste Brown -- a Jackson native, Southern Miss graduate and
former director of emergency services for the South Central
Mississippi chapter of the American Red Cross.
Lyndon B. Johnson established the VISTA program (Volunteers
in Service to America) in 1964 as part of the nation's "War
on Poverty" in order to provide opportunities for Americans
to serve full time to help thousands of low-income communities.
Since 2000, the AmeriCorps*VISTA program at the CCCE has placed
55 VISTAs at sites throughout the state of Mississippi.
most rewarding thing about being a VISTA has been the opportunity
to meet and work with so many different kinds of people,"
said Bethney Whittington, a recent VISTA graduate who devoted
two terms of service to helping children at the Aldersgate
mission in Hattiesburg.
have had the chance to work with and get to know not only
children in the Hattiesburg community, but also so many wonderful
people who work in nonprofit organizations, elementary school
teachers and service-learning faculty here at Southern Miss," said
Whittington, who currently is pursuing a graduate degree at
currently is accepting applications for new VISTAS. Persons
seeking to apply or who need more information should contact
Celeste Brown, the CCCE's AmeriCorps*VISTA director, at (601)
266-6876 or send e-mail to <email@example.com>.