New York Campus Compact’s VISTA program provides resources to support campus-community partnerships. The investment in developing community partnerships not only advances community priorities, but develops deep and meaningful learning opportunities for students and increased scholarship opportunities for faculty. As agents for change, VISTAs serve campus-community partnerships (at a minimal cost) by broadly engaging community resources to alleviate poverty and develop long-term sustainable solutions.
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NYCC AmeriCorps VISTA
To achieve its program purpose, VISTA operates under the following core principles:
Anti-Poverty Focus – The purpose of the VISTA Program is to support efforts to fight poverty. All VISTA projects address helping individuals and communities out of poverty, not simply making poverty more tolerable through short-term services.
Capacity-Building – VISTA members work to increase the capacity of organizations to fight poverty, rather than providing direct services to low-income individuals. Through activities such as establishment of community volunteer management systems, volunteer recruitment and management, fundraising, community outreach and collaborative development, VISTA members mobilize local resources to achieve lasting solutions.
Community Empowerment – VISTA projects engage residents of the low-income communities in planning, developing and implementation. The project must be responsive and relevant to the lives of the community residents and should tap into inherent community strengths.
Sustainable Solutions – VISTA members are short-term resources to help organizations address new or existing program areas related to their mission. VISTA members help build the capacity of an organization to implement its anti-poverty program on its own after a period of time (typically three years), as it plans for the eventual phase-out of VISTA members.