Averett looking for AmeriCorps VISTAS to help eliminate poverty in the region

by Kelsie Metzgar, WSET13

DANVILLE, Va. (WSET) — A center at Averett University in Danville is serving as an intermediary and helping to find what are known as AmeriCorps VISTA members for the Dan River Region.

VISTA stands for Volunteers in Service to America.

“A lot of the VISTAS tend to be younger recent college graduates so they’re coming in with a lot of new energy and fresh ideas, which is always great to refresh out region and the organizations they’re working with,” said Rachel Covington, the Averett Director of Community Engagment.

Averett’s Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness is helping to recruit for organizations, and through a grant, place people with the non-profits in the area.

The focus is on anti-poverty initiatives.

Right now they have three VISTAS, one is at the Center, one is at Middle Border Forward, and the third will be at God’s Storehouse.

“I want to see Danville reach community engagement outside the circle that it’s already in and kind of branch out into Gretna and the entire middle border region,” said Moustafa Nassar, an AmeriCorps Communications VISTA.

They’re still looking for five more VISTAS, who serve the community for a one-year period.

Averett said VISTAS can be local or come from other areas to serve.

The CCECC at the university was selected by the Corporation for National and Community Service to serve as the intermediary organization. The university says they are currently the only university in Virginia to serve in this role.