October 23, 2014  

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Volunteer Mississippi Awards AmeriCorps Grants to Southern Miss Programs

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Volunteer Mississippi awarded AmeriCorps State grants to 13 organizations across the state earlier this month, including a pair of programs at the University of Southern Mississippi. These grants will support more than 100 AmeriCorps members who will focus on academic engagement and financial literacy training in South Mississippi.

The Campus Link program, available through the Center for Community and Civic Engagement at Southern Miss, focuses on decreasing dropout rates and increasing academic engagement by providing in-school and after-school tutoring to economically disadvantaged fourth through eighth grade students.

Samantha Jones, director of the Campus Link AmeriCorps program, notes: “By tutoring and mentoring at-risk youth, our AmeriCorps members are able to give them the one-on-one attention they often need to stay engaged in school.”

The TRIAD (Training, Resources for the Advancement of Disability) Service AmeriCorps, offered through the Institute for Disability Studies at Southern Miss, provides financial literacy training to individuals with disabilities and assists students with disabilities in the transition to adulthood. TRAID’s transition services include national service, employment, postsecondary education and access to adult healthcare.

Volunteer Mississippi will distribute a total of $3.6 million in grant funding to organizations that were selected through highly competitive statewide and national processes. These organizations identified an unmet need in their community and devised unique ways for those needs to be addressed by AmeriCorps members.

In addition to the funds provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) used to operate the programs, a total of $1.66 million dollars will be available through the Segal Education Awards to be earned by AmeriCorps members.

A total of 544 AmeriCorps members across the state will serve in school and after-school programs as tutors and mentors; provide resources and nutritional education to address food security issues and healthy living lifestyles; cultivate school and community gardens; provide independent living skills trainings to individuals with disabilities enabling them to remain living independently or transition to independent living; complete nine home rehabilitations; connect veterans and family members of active military personnel to available resources; and provide financial literacy training to individuals with disabilities.

To learn more about AmeriCorps, contact Judy Stein at 601.842.6700 or judy@mcvs.org.