Trevecca Celebrates Americorps VISTA Volunteers on Campus

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Trevecca Celebrates Americorps VISTA Volunteers on Campus

In March, Trevecca celebrated Americorps VISTA week as an opportunity to honor the individuals who volunteer to improve communities across the country through various projects. At Trevecca, these individuals work in athletics, social justice, student development and the Urban Farm. Their goal is to increase the capacity of Trevecca to relieve local poverty and care for the environment. Three current VISTA volunteers recently shared about the impact of their experiences.

Carolyn Johnson

Trevecca's motto–"to be, rather than seem"--has resonated with me as long as I've known it. I jumped at the opportunity to become a VISTA when I recognized it as an opportunity to live out my passion for service and invest in the community that has invested in me. During my first year of service, in 2022- 2023, I was devoted to cultivating relationships and connecting students to volunteer opportunities on campus and in the community. In my second year, I have focused my efforts on resource development and enhancing internal systems to promote the longevity of interdepartmental community engagement. 
I love being a VISTA primarily because of the people I meet and how we intentionally journey with one another…On the days I struggle to persevere with hope, I remember the type of worker I want to be. I've determined to work faithfully, persevere with hope and kindness despite adversity, be punctual, include various people in strategic planning and decision-making, and continue to engage in service and partnerships whilst humbly receiving when others serve me. The AmeriCorps VISTA Program at Trevecca has been a beautifully rewarding and challenging experience, and I look forward to applying what I've learned through this role to future endeavors!

Gabriela Martinez

In my role, I assist with various aspects of farming, including crop cultivation, harvesting, irrigation, and creating care practices. I also participate weekly in grants academy training to learn about navigating, developing and applying for local, state and federal grants. One aspect I particularly enjoy is working outdoors and feeding the animals every morning. One of the challenges I face is dealing with dramatic changes in temperature, as it can be really hot and sunny one day and really cold the next. Through this job, I have grown by learning more about farm operations and gaining valuable experience in grant applications and farming practices.

Katherine Carter 

As the Urban Farm AmeriCorps VISTA, my main focus is sustainability and capacity building. I get to work with Trevecca students, but also with various community partners in Nashville, as well as youth who are involved in our TreeCycle program. 

I graduated in May 2022 with a minor in social justice, which is how I first got connected with the farm. As a student, I really didn't know very much about what the farm did or how to get involved, so one of my main goals as a VISTA has been working to increase visibility on campus. The farm is able to donate food to food pantries and we get to teach people how to grow food, care for animals, repair bicycles and live more sustainable lives. We're also advocating for food access, healthy transportation and the bigger picture of environmental justice. 

I feel really blessed to be able to participate in this work and mission. I've grown in so many ways since starting my first VISTA term, and my faith as a Christian has become much stronger and more defined.