Clarksville, TN – Through a partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service, Austin Peay State University’s Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement (CSLCE) has placed three Americorps Vista personnel within Clarksville community agencies for the 2014-2015 academic year, with a fourth to be placed in February 2015.
As part of the Community Strong program, which aims to strengthen community resources in Montgomery County, Vista volunteers are placed in local agencies that impact the quality of life for veterans and those struggling with hunger and homelessness.James McCoin, an APSU graduate and current student at Nashville School of Law, is serving with Americorps Vista at Manna Café Ministries & Manna Refuge.
As the policies and procedures manager for the organization, McCoin is spearheading the creation and implementation of legal documentation for the rapidly growing organization, which is expanding operations from providing food for the hungry and homeless, to the creation of a new emergency homeless shelter in Clarksville.
As a second term Vista volunteer, McCoin has spent the last year serving APSU directly, continuing the expansion of the service learning program by connecting community agencies with academic departments on campus.
Katelan Shartzer, a 2014 APSU graduate with a double major in communication and art, is splitting her service with Americorps Vista between two community agencies, including Veteran’s Treatment Court and Soldiers and Families Embraced (SAFE), where she works to expand resources for Veteran’s Treatment Court participants, as well as conducts grant research for SAFE. As the community outreach coordinator for both organizations, Shartzer has built Allied Community, a web resource for veterans in need, providing information on local resources and avenues for seeking help.
Lena Ziegler, a graduate from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, is serving with Americorps Vista at APSU. As the food pantry manager for the S.O.S. Food Pantry, a program funded through the CSLCE to provide food assistance to students in need, she manages the daily operations of the pantry in addition to coordinating the implementation of a campus victory garden program, which will provide the student food pantry with more nutritional options.
In February 2015, a fourth Vista position will be placed at the Teacher Warehouse, an organization that provides teachers with classroom supplies donated by members of the community.
For more information on the Community Strong program at APSU and the 2014-2015 Vista members, please visit www.apsu.edu/volunteer/community-strong