Wednesday, August 20, 2008

AmeriCorps at Rural Action

Rural Action Says Goodbye to Katie Durham
by Tori Patterson, VISTA Leader

Last week Rural Action said farewell to Katie Durham, who has been one of our most dedicated VISTA members. She completed her one-year term of service this past Friday. As a rural renewal liaison, Katie embarked on a challenging, yet rewarding, year of service with Rural Action’s newly formed Learning Circles this time last year. Katie helped move the Learning Circles from its early planning stages into dedicated committees of conversation and progress.

In the course of her work, Katie also organized the Linking Learning Circles event in January and moderated the Rural Renewal blog. More recently, Katie had been working with the Rural Action Energy Committee, and provided support for sustainable agriculture efforts, including Michelle Ajamian and Brandon Jaegar’s staple crops project.

Energy committee chair Scott Miller had nothing but praise for Katie’s year of service. “Katie was fabulous in coordinating the energy group this past year,” he said. “She was willing to jump in and do whatever needs to be done... She is a dedicated worker and was a tremendous asset to me.”

Dana Carlson, an active member of the Energy Committee, also wished Katie well, “The Energy Committee owes a huge debt of gratitude to Katie for her organizational skills and her enthusiasm.”

The day after finishing her work with Rural Action, Katie packed up a truck and made the move to Austin, Texas, where she’ll be beginning her work in a Master’s program in Social Work this fall.

She will be sorely missed around the Rural Action offices. Her positive attitude, commitment to work, passion for learning, characteristic “abbreves” and “clev” sense of humor have made a great impact on us all. We will do our best to carry on many of her endearing qualities.

Best of luck, Katie!



Fall VISTA Recruitment Beginning
by Tori Patterson, VISTA Leader

Rural Action is now accepting applications for AmeriCorps VISTA positions beginning in November 2008.

AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program specifically dedicated to fighting poverty in the United States. Each year, AmeriCorps VISTA places 6,500 members in more than 1,200 projects throughout the country. VISTA members commit to one year of full-time serivce and produce capacity building suport for organizations working on poverty-related issues.

AmeriCorps VISTA members at Rural Action serve in the low-income, rural communities of Southeast Ohio. They work with local farmers, landowners, and cooperative groups to increase market opportunities; develop environmental education and restoration projects; coordinate youth leadership programs; link volunteers to service projects; and increase capacity of the organization through membership development and media projects.

To apply go to the AmeriCorps website and enter the Program Name as "Rural Action" in the Advanced Opportunity Search.

THE APPLICATION DEADLINE IS SEPTEMBER 15th.


For more information, and to view complete position descriptions, visit the Rural Action website or contact Tori Patterson for more information.

The following positions are currently available at Rural Action:

- Energy Program Specialist
- Sustainable Agriculture
- Youth Leadership Liaison
- Media/Graphic Design
- Development Liaison

Benefits of AmeriCorps VISTA Service:
  • A living stipend to cover rent and expenses - currently set at $833/month
  • An education award of $4,725 for future expenses (loans, expenses, etc.) OR a cash award of $1,200
  • Health benefits, with optional life insurance
  • Ten days each of vacation and sick leave
  • Deferment of select student loans and payment of accrued interest on loans during the term of service
  • Relocation allowance if moving more than 50 miles to serve
  • Childcare assistance, if eligible
  • Access to non-competitive hiring in the federal civil service for one year after service
  • Opportunities to meet new people, develop networks, and experience a distinct culture
  • Access to professional training and personal development resources

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