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Welcome Carol, our new AmeriCorp VISTA!
Our credit union delivers more than just financial services: we're a mission-driven, non-profit organization using the tools of finance to foster social justice and economic equity. That's no simple feat in a city struggling under the weight of extreme and growing poverty. Fortunately, we're not alone in this work: in addition to impactful partners, hardworking staff, and dedicated board volunteers, Coop Fed's work is propelled with help from AmeriCorps VISTA, a national service program.
AmeriCorps VISTA is casually referred to as "the domestic Peace Corps." Volunteers in Service to America (VISTAs) devote one year of full time service, helping to build the capacity of local anti-poverty organizations. Coop Fed's VISTA team is part of Serve New York -- a cadre of VISTAs working to strengthen communities across the upstate region.
Carol Youngs will spend the next year (August 2021-August 2022) working as Coop Fed's Community Development & Outreach Associate / AmeriCorps VISTA. Read on to see what this dedicated and skillful professional is bringing to our team.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What experience are you bringing into your VISTA service?
“I’m a mid-life career changer having worked in a business management or marketing capacity in variety of industries (travel, hotel, interior design, library, education) for 30+ years. I returned to college in my late 40s to complete a B.A. degree in Human Services, cum laude, followed by a M.S. degree in Higher Education Student Affairs Administration (concentration counseling) with honors. A veteran project committee member for various initiatives, I thoroughly enjoy collaborating with others to make change.”
What inspired you to serve with AmeriCorps VISTA?
“On exiting graduate school, I came across an advertisement for AmeriCorps. My first experience as an AmeriCorps member was with a non-profit in Cortland dealing with the ongoing Opioid crisis which I found to be a challenging and rewarding experience. When considering a move to a new position I once again went to the AmeriCorps website to find a position in CNY where I could work on an exciting outreach project. I was delighted to discover this position with Coop Fed as my education / background / interests have always centered around helping others in various capacities. AmeriCorps VISTA allows the possibility of working with a diverse cohort to help those we serve to better understand available financial avenues.”
If someone gave you a million-dollar grant to use in Syracuse, what would you do with it?
"There are so many ways that a million-dollar grant could make a difference. My first thought would be initiatives related to education. One reads about public school K-12 teachers sometimes having to outfit their own classrooms with basic or project supplies. Perhaps setting up a fund to help in that regard or offering full or partial scholarships to young people wanting to further their education for much needed trade positions. Using part of the grant to attract matching dollars could be considered with an eye toward projects’ sustainability.”
What are your personal or professional goals after VISTA?
“I would like to continue freelance feature, corporate and non-profit project writing and presenting career counseling workshops to middle school and high school students. I also enjoy volunteer activities including tutoring adults studying for their TASC exam (high school equivalency diploma) and working with students helped by OnPoint for College.”
Thanks to our Supporters
Cooperative Federal's 2021-2022 VISTA Project has been made possible, in part, by support from The Service Collaborative of Western New York and Overview Diversified Holdings. We're grateful for their investment in our mission!
For more information about Coop Fed's VISTA project (including opportunities to serve next year!), contact Meagan Weatherby.
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