A nonprofit in my hometown turned an abandoned elementary school into an urban farm/community space that is greatly expanding this year thanks to a capital campaign. We're a small, pretty blue collar city in rural Michigan but we've got one of the biggest bookstores in Michigan, an independent movie theatre, and lots of outdoor activities. It's an affordable and low key place to live with a ton of local farms. I don't work for *cino but am happy to honestly (perhaps too honestly?) answer any questions you have about Three Rivers and can speak to the experience of being one of *cino's community partners.
Position Title: AmeriCorps VISTA - Capacity Building Coordinator
Status: Stipend Position
Living Allowance of $944 paid every two weeks
Education Award of $6,095 once term completed
Commitment: 12 months, 40 hrs/week (Starting May 13, 2019)
*culture is not optional Overview:
is not optional runs the Huss Project, a former elementary school in
Three Rivers, Michigan, that is being transformed into a community
center that seeks to grow our rural city’s capacity for imagination. We
currently run an urban farm that distributes produce to neighbors who
don’t have access to fresh food, host a summer lunch program for
school-aged kids, and celebrate our community’s creativity at an annual
festival that draws over 1,200 attendees. We partner closely with many
local businesses and farmers to meet community needs. This summer, we’ll
open the Imaginarium, a stunning new public space at the Huss Project
that will facilitate new year-round partnerships and programs. VISTAs
will join our volunteer staff at this critical juncture to map assets in
our community, to strengthen existing partnerships, to foster new
partnerships, and to design new programs that will structurally change
the way we approach poverty in our city. Our goals are to increase
educational achievement—particularly for marginalized, at-risk youth in
our school district who disproportionately live in the
Huss neighborhood—to build a sustainable food system accessible by all
in our city, and to grow economic opportunities for our neighbors. We
offer reduced-cost housing at our community house for VISTA members. We
will be selecting three members to join our work in Three Rivers.
We’re looking for compassionate, collaborative, innovative, and detail oriented folks to join our community! *culture
is not optional operates out of an emergent strategy model, wherein
the changes we experience while working alongside neighbors and
researching our context consistently shape next steps. This model allows
for more flexibility in identifying assets and greater nimbleness to
respond in real-time. Given this model, VISTAs will initially support
existing programs through volunteer recruitment, listening to and
learning about the community, engaging neighbors, and communicating with
existing partners. VISTAs will then map community assets to identify
next steps to design programs with neighbors and community partners to
increase educational achievement, to build a sustainable food system,
and to grow economic opportunities for our neighbors. Together, we can
grow our city’s capacity for imagining new possibilities for itself!
are a number of skills, abilities, and qualities of character that
VISTAs will need to bring to their positions to have a successful year:
Professional: Knowledge and experience in the field of community
development and/or field related to specific position (agriculture,
education, economics, etc.), event planning, program design and
implementation, research and evaluation.
• Communication: Writing
and speaking effectively and professionally, organizing shared data,
translating raw data into useful forms.
• Work-related: Attention
to detail, self-motivation, meeting goals and deadlines, asking for
help, flexibility, punctuality, stamina.
Collaboration with diverse partners, conflict resolution,
self-reflection and correction, commitment to self-care, genuine
listening across divides.
• Technology: Creating spreadsheets, using presentation software, familiarity with social media platforms.
work-related skills and abilities, the open spirit of inquiry that
VISTAs bring to our shared work in Three Rivers is crucial. We strive to
build a community that is characterized by curiosity and creativity. We
embrace difficult questions, we dream big, we adapt on the fly, and we
work hard. We work closely with one another and with our neighbors,
so we’ll be looking for VISTAs who can cultivate mutual respect and
demonstrate emotional maturity.
Occasionally this position will require nonstandard workplace hours including early mornings, weekday evenings, and/or weekends.
We encourage applications from candidates who can contribute to the diversity of our organization.