Connecticut Campus Compact, a statewide program now based on the Fairfield University campus, to recruit Americorps volunteers


Connecticut Campus Compact (CTCC), a statewide program now based on the Fairfield University campus promoting community service, civic engagement, and service learning, has received an award from the Corporation for National and Community Service to recruit four Americorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) for a year of community service.

One of the Americorps volunteers will help with the Fairfield University School of Nursing's Youth Power Partnership, a program with the Bridgeport Public Schools that enriches the experiences of students at Bassick High School. Another volunteer will work with Fairfield University's Center for Faith and Public Life, an inter-disciplinary forum for students, scholars, policy makers, and religious leaders to converse and reflect on the many issues where religion intersects with civic life. The other two volunteers will take part in service learning programs at the University of New Haven and Norwalk Community College, Connecticut Campus Compact member campuses.

Connecticut Campus Compact is a member of Campus Compact, a national coalition based at Brown University made up of more than 1,100 colleges and universities representing close to six million students. Its mission of community service is aligned with that of Fairfield's Jesuit mission of serving others.

Melissa Quan, associate director of the Center for Faith and Public Life and director of Service Learning, is assuming the responsibilities of executive director of CTCC. She said, "Fairfield University has stepped up to host the CTCC office at a vital moment in the organization's history, with President Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., serving as chair of the organization's board. CTCC is at a turning point and we expect it to strengthen and grow significantly over the next few years."

As state Campus Compact host, Fairfield will support CTCC in providing leadership at the state, regional, and local level to mobilize resources and provide support for members. The CTCC office will oversee the volunteers as a service to CTCC member host institutions.

In Connecticut, there are 18 Compact member colleges and universities that have banded together for the common purpose of addressing some of the social problems that exist in the state and nation. Americorps VISTA volunteers commit to serve full-time for a year at a nonprofit organization or local government agency, working to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses, strengthen community groups, and much more. VISTA volunteers that serve with Campus Compact are in a unique position to help colleges and universities build their capacity to engage students in community service and service learning.

The award from the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency created under the National and Community Service Trust Act, supports stipends as well as health and educational benefits for the VISTA volunteers.

Quan said, "CTCC's goals include working to increase membership, with an eye on inspiring people to deepen their involvement in civic life, community service, and service learning. We are also working on creating more programs for students and professional development opportunities for faculty and community partners."

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on July 22, 2008

Vol. 41, No. 13