2011 Hiram College Ohio Campus Compact VISTA Report
Engaging campuses in service to the community. OCC VISTA Impact Report: Hiram College Ohio Campus Compact AmeriCorps*VISTA strategically connects college resources with communities in need. Corps members gain valuable experience and educational awards. Campuses expand their civic outreach. And community partners receive critical support. Poverty Alleviation Focus Area: College AccessHISTORY & BACKGROUND For more information contact:Portage County is a small, largely rural county VISTA Corps member: Richard Shafranekin northeast Ohio. In terms of area, the county (440) 321-1652 • firstname.lastname@example.org one of Ohio’s largest. For this reason, Site Supervisor: Jason Bricker-Thompsonamong others, Portage County faces unique (330) 569-6094 • email@example.com. Geographically dispersed residents Ohio Campus Compact VISTA Sr. Program Director:may lack access to distant social or welfare Lesha Farias (740) 587-8571 • firstname.lastname@example.org, and the loss of manufacturing and www.ohiocampuscompact.orgindustry has hit some parts of the county hard. Today, there exist intense concentrations ofpoverty in places like Windham and Ravenna.Hiram College, over the years, has played animportant role in seeking to address poverty inPortage County, and has initiated a variety ofprograms too numerous to enumerate here. Hiram, notably, has long found pride in itsdiversity and engagement of first-generationcollege students. As an institution of higherlearning, college access is an important aspectof Hiram’s approach to poverty in PortageCounty.Today, a confluence of factors have made thetime ripe for Hiram to forge new community Under the leadership of Ohio Campus Compactpartnerships designed to tackle college access VISTA Richard Shafranek, Hiram students andin Portage County. Hiram’s community service office have maintained key partnerships with community agencies and taken steps to develop new programs, including a mentoring program for at- risk girls, an after-school tutoring program at aCAMPUS IMPACT local community center, and a college accessHiram College has hosted VISTA members for threeconsecutive years, and most of the college’s current program targeting area middle school students. civic engagement-related programs are the result ofthe work of Director of Civic Engagement JasonBricker-Thompson and the VISTAs he has supervised.
In the past year, Ohio Campus Compact VISTA Richard Shafranek hasassisted with the development and expansion of Hiram’s community The VISTA Impactservice office. Relevant efforts have included a website revamp and the by the numbers:integration of social media; a substantial strategic planning process; therecruitment of a student worker to help coordinate and publicize Students engaged ~157community service efforts; a community service newsletter; and acampus poverty simulation that involved nearly 100 students and Spring service hours ~471multiple staff and faculty. Area youth served ~40Richard has also worked to maintain and expand Hiram’s education Grant money $5,593and college access-related initiatives. Nearly two dozen Hiram tutors (pending)served local youth at the James A. Garfield Elementary School, andstudents volunteered their time to help develop new programs at twolocal community centers. In the spring semester alone, VISTA RichardShafranek helped to coordinate 73 students, who performed a total471 hours of service.COMMUNITY IMPACT About Ohio Campus CompactOver the past several years, a number of grassroots anti-poverty AmeriCorps*VISTAinitiatives have cropped up in Portage County, such as the King-Kennedy Community Center in Ravenna, Ohio, and the Renaissance Ohio Campus Compact is a statewide nonprofitFamily Center in Windham, Ohio. It is vital that Hiram College coalition of colleges and university presidents andcontinues to support community efforts such as these. their campuses working to promote the civic purposes of higher education. Ohio CampusProgress has been made to this end. VISTA Richard Shafranek Compact provides resources, services &connected members of a Hiram sorority to Ravenna’s King-Kennedy partnerships to help Ohio campuses deepen theirCommunity Center, where they helped to develop a mentoring ability to educate students for civic and socialprogram aimed at at-risk girls. Members of the Hiram Education Club responsibility and to improve community life.volunteered its time to help establish an after-school tutoring programat the Renaissance Family Center. Richard Shafranek initiated contact AmeriCorps*VISTA is the national service programwith the Portage County College Access Network, with the aid of designed specifically to fight poverty. Founded aswhom he wrote a sub-grant to establish a college access program in an Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 and incorporated into the AmeriCorps network ofarea middle school. programs in 1993, VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America forKEEPING THE PARTNERSHIP STRONG: OPPORTUNITIES FOR more than 40 years.THE FUTURE The Ohio Campus Compact AmeriCorps*This past year has seen the groundwork laid for a variety of programs. VISTA Program places and supports VISTAs whoOld partnerships have been strengthened, and new ones have begun to create and expand programs designed to bringdevelop. In particular, there are important opportunities for Hiram at individuals and communities out of poverty. VISTAsRavenna’s King-Kennedy Center, Windham’s Renaissance Family serve in the poorest areas of their communities to tackle poverty-related problems such as hunger andCenter, and each of the county’s public school districts. Given the homelessness, financial literacy, veteran studentcommon thread of Hiram’s involvement at these sites – education – it services, public health and college access. Moreseems potentially beneficial for the college’s community service office information at: www.ohiocampuscompact.orgto weave these disparate initiatives into a broader college access-oriented array of programs.