By Chris Wardell, administrative assistant
Last month, I wrote about CEDAM’s two AmeriCorps programs—AmeriCorps State and AmeriCorps VISTA—and how the additional capacity an AmeriCorps member offers can help your organization reach even higher goals and make a greater impact in your community. (Did you miss the story featuring the AmeriCorps impact in Ludington and Saginaw County? Check it out here.)
Garden City is also an AmeriCorps VISTA host site (one of eight) administered by CEDAM.
Faith Briggs, who is the project coordinator and AmeriCorps VISTA Member at the City of Garden City, is another example of an AmeriCorps member who is doing great work in her community.
Briggs is currently partnering with area schools for an upcoming community forum that focuses on technology dependence. Briggs helped to assemble and moderate the panel which will include a health professional, a police lieutenant and a representative from local schools.
“We will have a discussion portion for families to ask questions of the panelists,” Briggs said. “Before the panel begins, each participant will do a self-assessment of their technology use, and they will receive a list of “unplugged” activities they can do with their friends and families this summer. Technology is something we all use, and we are hoping this forum will help us learn how to be more mindful of this technology use.”
Briggs helped to create the materials for the meeting, communicated with the panelists and moderator, as well as set up the overall event.
“I have realized as a VISTA member that I enjoy handling the logistics of events,” Briggs said. “I am helping to create the event materials, communicating with our panelists and moderator and announcing the event at community meetings and events. Through my service, I get to see community needs fulfilled through organizing forums like these and I am proud to contribute to it.”
According to Megan Sheeran, who is the community resources coordinator for the City of Garden City, the work Briggs has done has been paramount to the growth of the city. Sheeran has also watched Briggs grow as well.
“Faith has grown personally and professionally over the course of her service term,” Sheeran said. “She came to the host site right out of her undergrad and was ready to apply what she had studied and to make that a reality. As with all new professionals, there are some successes and some challenges in that first year out of college. Faith continues to move through these ups and downs gracefully by asking for help and checking her work.”
Sheeran went on to add, “Faith will change all communities she serves in a positive way.”
Briggs sees her time as an AmeriCorps VISTA member as a two-fold experience, which has been rewarding. She also enjoys having the freedom and trust Sheeran affords her to tackle new projects in the city in which she lives and has great admiration.
“My supervisor allows me to try new things and be involved in as many aspects of our department as I want,” Briggs said. “I have learned so much by trying out activities I have never done before and receiving her feedback. The other rewarding part has been being involved in this community. I lived in this community as a child, but now I’m engaging in the community in a different way. I am meeting people that care so deeply about the city they live in, and I can’t help but love this city as well.”
Interested in CEDAM’s AmeriCorps programs? Visit our website to learn more about the two programs and apply to be a host site!
Applications are due this Friday, May 10 at 5pm.