Last week at the St. Peter and Paul Retreat Center the Americorps VISTA team from several colleges around the state of Ohio explored more about implementing C2C on their individual campuses. To start, the group recognized expectations from the Center for National and Community Service, including staying true to their goal of creating a sustainable structure. The VISTAs and their site supervisors also learned more about established C2C programs at other campuses, including a presentation from current OCC VISTA member Maria Latschar (Columbus State Community College) on recruiting peer advocates on campus.
On the second day of orientation, the VISTAs spent time getting to know each other. The group agreed that the orientation provided a concrete foundation of Ohio Campus Compact and their mission as VISTAs in implementing the C2C program. The VISTAs gained confidence in recognizing the support that they can find in each other throughout their service term. The team discussed the range of campuses involved in C2C, from community colleges to private liberal arts colleges, and brainstormed the strengths of each. Lastly, the VISTAs ate lunch with OCC VISTA alumni who served at a variety of campuses in Ohio through Ohio Campus Compact. They recognized the impact that the OCC VISTA program had in both their personal and professional development, and shared stories and examples of how VISTA prepared them for their current career. Their best piece of advice was to have confidence the ability to create lasting change on campus, which each new OCC AmeriCorps VISTA is looking forward to in 2015-16.