Reflections of an AmeriCorps VISTA

Forming Connections on the Playground

By Austin Dumont - AmeriCorps Member at Bates College Coming into my year with AmeriCorps VISTA, one of the greatest external pressures was the lingering COVID pandemic. As we all know too well, the reality of the pandemic has required that much of our lives take place behind a computer screen. While the shift to remote work, and a remote lifestyle, have impacted all of us in unique ways, adverse effects have been especially profound on children. Being at home and away from school has meant many children have gone without peer interactions and socialization. As a new school year started up in the fall of 2021, and as students returned to in-person learning, teachers and school staff became increasingly aware of how remote learning had impacted students’ ability to form close bonds and connections with their peers. School administrators at two Lewiston elementary schools reached out to the Harward Center with the hopes of partnering to create a playground...

Bagel Fridays

By Ciera Miller - AmeriCorps member at Champlain College Almost every Friday this year, the Women’s and Gender Center at Champlain College has held a ‘Bagel Friday,’ which means that once a week, we offer free bagels to everyone who goes to Champlain. This is in an effort to bring students into the space and to also feed them, since we know the average college student is always on the search for food. We really take the tradition of “breaking bread” to the next level. (Are bagels considered bread? They should be.) At first, my supervisor and I were taking home a lot of leftover bagels. We didn’t buy many, maybe a dozen, but students didn’t show up immediately. It wasn’t for lack of publicity, or because students weren’t searching for free food and cozy couches to eat it on. It was partly because our center is a half mile down the road from what’s considered the ‘main campus’ and...

AmeriCorps Service: A Life-Long Lesson

By: Arria Hauldin - 21-22 AmeriCorps VISTA Leader August 2022 marks my second anniversary with AmeriCorps! As I get closer to this anniversary, I wanted to take the time to reflect on these two years with Americorps and Campus Compact for New Hampshire (CCNH). In August 2020, I started as a COVID-19 Recovery AmeriCorps Member for CCNH. As a South Florida native, my first time in New England (let alone New Hampshire) was when I moved here to start my service. I was fresh out of college and entered a world plagued with uncertainty due to the pandemic. As a COVID-19 Recovery Member, I had a steep learning curve; I was tasked with learning about a new area of the country. From the education system of the tri-state area to finding community partners tasked with combating the spread of COVID-19, I felt incredibly overwhelmed and underqualified in those first few months. As time went on, I learned more about the...