2017-2018 ILCC AmeriCorps VISTA Farewell

In the following months Illinois Campus Compact will be hiring a cohort of new AmeriCorps VISTAs, this means we will also be saying goodbye to some amazing VISTAs who are ending their year of service with us.

During the past year our VISTAs served at higher education institutions throughout the state working to advance the public purpose of higher education. The VISTAs built capacity by leading programs with youth, coordinating volunteers, and developing community engagement initiatives on campus.

Haley Dutmer is finishing her year of service at Western Illinois University- Quad Cities. Haley has a background in philosophy so is very interested in theory and ideas, especially when it comes to ethical problems, during this past year Haley coordinated a food insecurity conference on campus. She had speakers and guests come from all over Illinois and Iowa, creating a great mixture of faculty and staff from schools and also representatives from non-profit and community organizations. At the conference, they discussed the systemic social causes of food insecurity as well as strategies to best address the problem – specifically for students.

When asked to reflect about her last year of service Haley said, “My favorite part about being an ILCC VISTA at Western Illinois University-Quad Cities is the trust, freedom, and responsibility my supervisors have given me. It has allowed me to grow as a leader, organizer, and planner. Without this freedom, I would not have been able to have such amazing professional development packed into one year.”

Emma Alcock is finishing her year of service at College of DuPage, here she was able to work with the community that she grew up in. She was grateful to be able to see a familiar community but in a new way, and to give back to a place that she had a deep connection to. Emma is most proud of planning and executing the first Day of Service event within her program. The framework that she developed will continue to be used for similar events in the future.

On ending her year of service Emma said, “VISTA was an amazing opportunity that provided a solid base of knowledge and skills for me to move onto my next big adventure – being a Peace Corps volunteer in Macedonia!”

 

Byron Terry, our ILCC VISTA Leader said that the connections that he was able to build at Illinois Campus Compact and at the member sites are very important to him. He visited member institutions throughout Illinois so check in with VISTAs, giving them the support or information they needed.

Byron described the unspoken commodore between VISTAs. Since many of the ILCC VISTAs do similar work, there was always someone to turn for inspiration or troubleshooting. He said that the connections and skills he developed while a VISTA, are the kind that will last a lifetime.