2021-2022 VISTA Project Abstracts

Baltimore City Community College

Project: The VISTA Success Coach Project provides success coaching for students who need extra support inside and outside of the classroom by connecting them with tutors or other beneficial resources on campus and by helping them maintain confidence and motivation. Intervention is provided at the earliest point of the participants academic career with BCCC, ensuring that students are provided with the tools, knowledge, and support necessary to be successful.

Bowie State University

Project: The Bowie Bold: Feeding the Need Initiative plays a crucial role in educating the Bowie State University community about food insecurity and resources available for emergency intervention.  The CCMA VISTA member coordinator will also utilize social media and other media sources to raise visibility of the Nutrition Lounge, a place where students can access free, healthy food while relaxing or studying.

Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic (CCMA) 

Collective Impact VISTA

Project: This CCMA Collective Impact VISTA initiative will “complement and expand” current CCMA VISTA efforts in the communities we serve. Community partners have been engaged in the planning of all CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA proposals and are critical to the development of a sustained and supportive “collective impact” network. This Collective Impact VISTA member will offer support and additional resources that may be required through researching, applying to, and managing relevant grants; assisting in the development of policies and procedures to integrate sustainable grants processes; and providing support to coordinate effective assessment processes and the development of sustainable community networks.

Corporate Partners VISTA

Project: Generating new resources to use in the fight against poverty is a main outcome of this project. The CCMA Corporate Partners project will strengthen the relationships between higher education institutions and the corporate sector. This project includes connecting the CCMA mission, vision, and values with corporate civic engagement in the region, curating a robust communications and website presence tailored towards the business community, creating a corporate advisory board, and researching and incorporating best practices for corporate civic engagement.

Carroll Community College 

Project: The Community Resource Liaison CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA project targets low-income students at Carroll Community College who are experiencing barriers to achieving their educational goals. The CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA member will help connect students in crisis with community resources by creating a clear process of intake, referral, follow up, and support. The member will also create proactive programming to connect students with resources prior to crisis points, as well as a website with community resources for students, faculty, and staff.

Central Kenilworth Avenue Revitalization (CKAR) 

Project: Central Kenilworth Avenue Revitalization (CKAR) is lead partner with Kaiser Permanente to develop a place-based initiative in Greater Riverdale to lift residents from poverty and identify affordable housing opportunities and avoid displacement. The key objective of the CKAR Affordable Housing CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA project is to assist CKAR CDC to collect analytical data, record community interests and priorities, measure data against community input, and identify volunteers from community meetings. This project will create new opportunities for housing and develop a model for Community Resource Centers.

Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) 

Bridges to Success

Project: Bridges to Success is a partnership between Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS), and Baltimore area businesses to address the needs of low-income students in navigating college curriculum and increase their chances of being prepared for the job market. This program will provide a hands-on system to ensure high school and college students are making informed decisions in their course selection and have maps to guide them from non-credit to credit courses

Pipeline to Living-Wage Careers for Veterans

Project: The CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA member will assist low-income veterans/military-connected students living within the Baltimore Metropolitan Area to enroll in a short-term certification program that leads to a living-wage career. This project will serve as an intermediary between partners and assist with setting up a process of recruiting, enrolling, aiding, advising, and tracking students as they complete their program, and then establish a process to help veteran students find employment through partners and outreach to industries hiring within the veteran’s career field, and will increase employment rates and income levels among veterans and military-connected families.

Frederick Community College 

Project: The Student Support for Basic Needs and Security program is designed to build capacity for and implement a sustainable food security and basic needs program on campus that connects students to resources as needed to help eliminate barriers to academic and personal success. The CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA member aims to offer critical support for students experiencing food security and basic need concerns that create barriers to academic and personal success. The goal will be to further support student success by working with campus and community stakeholders to create comprehensive, accessible, and sustainable solutions to identifying and responding to the health and well-being of our students.

Friendship Public Charter School 

Project: The Friendship Alumni Affairs CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA project will provide program design, coordination, and support over three years for three key objectives: the development and implementation of the Class Connectors program; the design and launch of the Alumni Board and Alumni Association; and the growth of our Alumni Day/Week programming. The VISTA project will grow and strengthen the Friendship alumni community by increasing engagement and supports offered across the college and career spectrum for all alumni.

Germanna College 

Project: The CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA member will address the growing needs of the financial and material support for the Veteran population at Germanna Community College by providing peer to peer mentorship, streamlining resources of external shareholders, and fostering relationships among Veteran-related organizations. Germanna is certified with the Department of Veteran Services program Virginia Values Veterans (V3), which addresses issues our Veteran population face that can have deep financial impacts, such as health issues related to PTSD.

Goldey-Beacom College 

Project: Goldey-Beacom College and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware (BGCDE) have formed a partnership to strengthen the relationship between the College and the community while providing more volunteer opportunities, access to College facilities and events, and BGCDE-based programming. The CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA will serve as the liaison between GBC and BGCDE.

International Rescue Committee (IRC) 

Data Analysis for Refugee Programs – Baltimore

Project: Over the course of one year, a CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA member serving as a Data Analysis Coordinator will strengthen the IRC Baltimore office’s ability to track and analyze data across its poverty-reduction programs, develop and implement surveys to gather beneficiary feedback on program effectiveness, and recommend improvements based on the results. This VISTA member will build organizational and community partnerships in Baltimore to ensure the projects continue at the conclusion of their service period.

 Data Analysis for Refugee Programs – Silver Spring

Project: Over the course of one year, a CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA member serving as a Data Analysis Coordinator will strengthen the ability of the IRC in Silver Spring office’s ability to track and analyze data across a variety of poverty-reduction initiatives, as well as develop and implement surveys to gather beneficiary feedback. The VISTA member will build organizations and community partnerships to ensure the project continues at the conclusion of their service period.

IRC’s Center for Economic Opportunities (Communications)

Project: The CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA member serving as a Communications Coordinator will build capacity within the IRC to raise awareness of, and ultimately affect change in, the underlying systemic and structural issues that limit economic mobility for low-income, credit-thin immigrant households in Baltimore. IRC seeks to strengthen the IRC’s economic empowerment and resettlement programs for the benefit of refugees and other low to moderate income populations in the Baltimore metropolitan area across Central Maryland.

Loyola University Maryland 

Project: Loyola University enhances capacity for youth development and education by working closely with local public schools in transition in the Govans community. Through the 21st Century Schools process, two of the local public schools are being reconstructed. The CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA member will support a healthy transition during reconstruction at Walter P. Carter and Guilford Elementary/Middle Schools and engage students, teachers, staff, and community in planning for a positive school culture and climate in the new school building.

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) 

Project: MICA is committed to the development of partnerships, programs, and initiatives within Baltimore’s communities so that the College’s community can be critically engaged, empathetic participants in contemporary society. MICA’s mission includes an institutional commitment to “thrive with Baltimore” and to the importance of artists, designers, and educators as cultural innovators and agents of creative and progressive social change. The CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA will strategically expand the impact of this commitment for and with Baltimore City residents, specifically its young artists.

Maryland Nonprofits

Project: Maryland Nonprofits is on a journey to strengthen the nonprofit sector’s capacity to operate in an equitable fashion and to achieve equity in outcomes in communities in Maryland. The JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) training program helps nonprofit organizations work toward building boards of directors and staff that are diverse and representative of their culture and client base.

Morgan State University

Project: The Inclusive Community Planning in Low Income Baltimore Neighborhoods project is a partnership of the Morgan State University School of Architecture + Planning (SA+P) and the Neighborhood Design Center (NDC) focused on redressing the exclusion of low-income adults in Baltimore city’s low-income neighborhoods from community planning initiatives. The project’s key goals are to expand economic opportunity and support residential and neighborhood stability in Baltimore neighborhoods.

Notre Dame of Maryland University 

Project: Supported by personnel at the partner schools, community organizations and nonprofits, parents, and NDMU faculty and staff, the York Road Education and Service (YES) Program strives to improve academic outcomes and eventual college trajectories of students from Govans Elementary and Tunbridge Public Charter Schools. The CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA member will serve as a key member of a YES Program implementation team, charged with maintaining and expanding an existing academic tutoring and student teacher internship program, planning and initiating a mentoring program for partner school students, and exploring and researching health and wellness needs and opportunities for future implementation in partner schools.

Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) 

Project: The CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA member at PGCC will develop a web-based resource center that will empower families, especially those with low and moderate income and minimal education, by providing a tool to assist with their decision-making process. The site will address a variety of topics that affect families, such as education, employment, personal finances, childcare, housing, and other relevant topics. Education to make well informed decisions is a factor that empowers low-income community members and supports their growth out of poverty.

The Catholic University of America 

Cardinal Cupboard

Project: The CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA will develop a comprehensive campus pantry program (Cardinal Cupboard) at The Catholic University of America that will provide nutritious and healthy food, resources, and referrals for additional resources to reduce the effects of food insecurity for at least 150 members of the campus community the first year of the grant and then expanding to 400 and becoming fully sustainable by the third year.

Center for Cultural Engagement – Pathways to College

Project: Pathways to College allows the Catholic University to become a resource for students in economically disadvantaged communities throughout the Washington D.C. area who are seeking access to higher education by providing them with current college student mentors, equipping them with information about the college admissions process, and building up their resiliency. Parents will gain a better understanding of the college admission process, and how to support their children throughout high school and college. The project will help the university improve the programs, resources, and support provided to first-generation college students and increase their retention and graduation.

The Civic Circle

Project: The Lift Every Voice project closes the equity gap in civic learning and engagement by providing low-income students of color in Eastern Montgomery County the opportunity to learn seven civic skills we call “steps to democracy” through civic songs and songwriting workshops. Civic learning correlates directly to improved academic achievement, fewer discipline incidents, college completion, and the development of skills that lead to employment.

The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) 

Project: Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) is a partnership with Universities at Shady Grove (USG), Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), and Montgomery College (MC) to address multi-generational poverty by increasing baccalaureate degree attainment among underrepresented students, especially African American and Hispanic youth. The ACES partnership recently agreed to the addition of career readiness programming for all ACES students (an expansion of the current work with approximately 100 students to over 2,000 students at full capacity) beginning in high school and continuing through university graduation. This programming will provide students with workforce skills and professional experiences that will help to ensure that they can attain and succeed in high demand careers.

The University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) 

Campus Pantry

Project: The UMD Campus Pantry will partner with the Capital Area Food Bank and Maryland Hunger Solutions to implement an innovative project to address hunger in the UMD community through programmatic interventions led by students who have experienced food insecurity as well as through strengthening policies on campus for sustainable change.

Terp Farm

Project: The UMD Terp Farm is a sustainable vegetable farm which serves as a living laboratory – a place of learning and teaching about agriculture, food, health, and the environment. Terp Farm grows vegetables with the help of students, and donates a portion of each harvest to those in need in the community. This AmeriCorps VISTA project will equip low-income adults studying or working at UMD to develop fundamental tools to promote nourishment, health, equity, and empowerment.

UMD SAFE Center – Building Equity and Survivor Leadership Capacity

Project: The CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA member will help build the capacity of the SAFE Center to serve human trafficking victims in the metropolitan Washington, DC area with a focus on Maryland’s Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. As structural racism is a root cause of human trafficking, the SAFE Center strives to work through an anti-racist framework that incorporates survivor input in our policies, programs, and partnerships. The VISTA will build the SAFE Center’s capacity to serve our clients by supporting the creation of internal policies and program updates with a focus on systemic racism and operationalizing the SAFE Center’s survivor leadership program.

Towson University 

Food Security Initiative

Project: The CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA Food Security Initiative at TU expands the campus food pantry (Food Share) along with additional programming and resources that are currently offered on Towson’s campus. The CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA member will develop a curriculum for a workshop series around financial and food security, including topics such as meal planning, cooking demonstrations, and budgeting. Additionally, the CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA member will work to build the capacity of the Food Share by creating and implementing a training curriculum for pantry volunteers.

Food Security Initiative at Towson University in Northeastern Maryland (TUNE) 

Project: The Food Security Initiative will offer the Food Share, the new campus food pantry, to the campus of TUNE. The CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA will be responsible for creating a framework for the project by utilizing data gathered from campus surveys and institutional data, develop a curriculum and co-facilitate education workshops around finances, food security, and sustainability, and host events like a farmers market or wellness fair. Each year, the VISTA will track and report on the impact of the Food Share Project while setting new goals to ensure the success of the project.

University of Baltimore (UB) 

Project: The CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA with the Food for Thought Initiative at UB offers additional programming and resources beyond what is currently offered by the existing Campus Pantry. Through a series of workshops and educational programs, members of the University of Baltimore community will learn about financial security and food security and form peer connections with the goal of reducing food and financial hardship.

University of Maryland Eastern Shore 

Project: The ShoreWay Experience is a partnership with University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) and the local elementary, middle, and high schools in Somerset County, designed to increase college and career readiness within the traditionally underrepresented people of color on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Within the ShoreWay Experience, students will receive intensive college preparedness, ongoing academic and success coaching, experiential learning opportunities, along with life and leadership training. Concurrently, local business partners will provide students with workforce skills, mentoring, and project-based internships to ensure that they can attain and succeed in high-demand careers.