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Anchorage, Alaska

ANHC Marketing and Communications VISTA

The Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC) is a living cultural center located in Anchorage, Alaska that promotes active observance of Alaska Native culture and traditions. Our mission is to preserve and strengthen the traditions, languages, and art of Alaska’s Native People through statewide collaboration, celebration, and education. We are based in Anchorage, Alaska, but serve as a statewide resource for Alaska Native people throughout Alaska. The Marketing & Communications VISTA will build capacity by increasing awareness of ANHC’s mission, community programs, and special offerings through engaged marketing campaigns, creative online content, newsletters, and more.

APIA Health and Wellness VISTA

The Health and Wellness VISTA will increase the capacity of the organization by assisting with the planning, development, and implementation of programs that focus on health promotion and outreach, disease prevention and food security concerns in the region. The Wellness VISTA will help develop program policies and procedures applicable to each ongoing project or program. The VISTA will also help with grant-writing to secure funding to support capacity for additional program initiatives and growth in the Wellness projects. Examples of specific activities the VISTA member will participate in: – Assisting with implementation of health fair and other health outreach events in the region – Expanding cancer prevention initiatives – Developing programs to increase physical activity in the region – Supporting food security projects like developing food security assessments – Develop worksite wellness initiatives

Meal Service Developer VISTA

The Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, Inc. is the federally recognized tribal organization of the Aleut people in Alaska whose mission is to provide self-sufficiency and independence to the communities served by advocacy, training, technical assistance and economic enhancement; to assist in meeting health, safety and well-being needs of each community member. The goals of this program will benefit the underserved communities within the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands region of Alaska and ensure the further development of food security within the region. The Elder meal program is rapidly expanding services to include more villages within APIA’s service region and this position plays an integral part in the continued development of the program.

Youth Services VISTA Program Coordinator

The AmeriCorps VISTA member will increase capacity of the organization by the meeting the following objectives: (1) Coordinating regional high school activities designed to introduce students to a wide variety of health and behavioral health careers; (2) Coordinating and supporting behavioral health and health care related trainings throughout the region (i.e. Youth Mental Health First Aid, teenMHFA, Adult Mental Health First Aid, QPR Suicide Prevention, Basic Life Support, Overdose Recognition and Prevention, etc.) (3) Increase presence and maintain regional partnership with school districts, health care facilities, university faculty and staff, Alaska Native organizations, etc. (4) Expand the placing of AHEC Scholars (Alaskan enrolled in Alaskan health-care programs) in rural placements.

Girl Scouts Recruitment Specialist VISTA

In Girl Scouts, girls get outdoors, participate in the cookie program, earn badges and awards, and much more. When these Girl Scout activities are girl-led, cooperative, and hands-on, girls show greater benefits. With Girl Scouts, girls become more active and engaged learners and develop important leadership outcomes, such as positive sense of self, practical life skills, critical thinking, healthy relationships, cooperation and team building, conflict resolution, and resourceful problem solving. The support of a VISTA will allow Girl Scouts to enhance program quality and recruitment so that Girl Scouts may better provide resources to under-served communities. The VISTA member will help Girl Scouts of Alaska improve its framework for serving low-income Alaskans and allow more girls to benefit from leadership skills gained in Girl Scouts. Position is based in the headquarter office in Anchorage, with possible travel throughout the council region.

Kawerak Pilgrim Hot Springs Food Security Initiatives VISTA

Kawerak is a non-profit consortium of 20 Alaska Native Tribes in the Bering Strait Region. Our mission is to advance the capacity of our people and tribes for the benefit of the Bering Strait region of Alaska, which is the homeland and waters of the Yup’ik, Inupiaq and St. Lawrence Island Yupik Peoples. Kawerak is a co-managing owner of Pilgrim Hot Springs, which is a unique property north of Nome, Alaska that contains a geothermal resource, abundant flora and fauna, and rich agricultural lands. Kawerak is working to develop Pilgrim Hot Springs to provide economic opportunities for the region including eco-tourism and renewable energy development, as well as sustainable solutions for increasing wellness and food security in the region. Due to the extensive geothermal resource at this site, the ground never freezes, despite being located in the arctic. The extended sunlight hours of the summer combined with the rich, warm soils make for an ideal location for growing vegetables and other plants. Pilgrim Hot Springs has provided fresh produce to the region at various times over the past century, and has the potential to provide a local, sustainable food source currently unavailable. Specifically, the VISTA will work with Kawerak Pilgrim Hot Springs staff to develop a volunteer coordination system, create data systems and conduct market research, as well as assist with fundraising and grant writing for food security efforts. This position will be based at the RurAL CAP facility in Anchorage, Alaska and will remotely work with the other Pilgrim Hot Springs staff. Kawerak will offer at least one onsite visit to Pilgrim Hot Springs during the year of service, to take place during the growing and/or harvesting season.

Rural Alaska Program at Camp Fire Alaska

The Rural Alaska Program has brought summer camp experiences to rural communities since 1964. From the beginnings of offering summer camp experiences to rural communities across Alaska, the program now partners with local tribal councils and regional partners to build cultural activities consistent with local values and fostering interconnectedness between youth and Elders in each community through the sharing of community knowledge. Moreover, the program works to support food security through administering federal food programs, Elder care packages and youth led traditional food and cooking activities delivered to Elders. The purpose of the rural program is to provide activities that reflect the needs of the communities that we serve. We are there to build assets and leadership skills in youth so that they can recognize their full potential and appreciate their individual value and contribution to their community. This program includes exposure to the natural world, sports and games, creative arts, community events, and healthy life choices with an emphasis on the importance of holistic wellness, cultural identify and the reduction of high risk-behaviors. Typically, a program runs for two to four weeks and is facilitated by a team of two or three staff with local hires.

Bean's Cafe Reducing Poverty with Purpose VISTA

This VISTA project will focus on building capacity through program development and establishing volunteer opportunities for the community to share their experiences, expertise and knowledge with homeless clients. This will provide much needed client engagement opportunities that aim to reduce poverty and negative behaviors while increasing the employability and overall well-being and health of persons experiencing homelessness and poverty.

Volunteer Management VISTA

Covenant House Alaska (CHA) serves youth experiencing homelessness in Alaska with a crisis shelter and wrap around services that include street outreach, ongoing education, drop in services, and a wellness clinic. The Volunteer Management VISTA member will break the cycle of youth poverty and homelessness by increasing community volunteerism at Covenant House Alaska. Volunteers are an essential component of expanding services available to Alaskan youth experiencing homelessness.

Project HOPE Opioid Rescue Kit Program

Project HOPE will utilize the talents of a VISTA member to build the well needed infrastructure of the project by collaborating with community partners, recruiting volunteers, researching funding opportunities, and grant writing. The VISTAs duties will work to reduce the health risks associated with opioid addiction in at risk populations.

Scholarship System Development

The VISTA member’s service year will focus on evaluating the scholarship process at Camp Fire Alaska, identifying areas of need and potential growth within scholarships, and working to promote scholarships both to families in need and to potential supporters through marketing and storytelling. Building and strengthening community partnerships will be a large part of completing this work. The VISTA will have three major goals, which are to 1) establish a story collecting process and story bank to support marketing and development, 2) build a network of partners and donors to support donations for families in need of gear for Camp Fire programs, and 3) to create a plan for supporting families through the scholarship process.

Anchorage Youth Workforce Development through Food Systems

Alaska Seeds of Change (AKSoC or Seeds) is a non-profit workforce development program of Alaska Behavioral Health that supports youth ages 16-24 to build the skills necessary to successfully transition to adulthood through urban agricultural activities. The AKSoC program consists of three main work spaces: an 8,000 square foot indoor vertical hydroponics facility, the Seeds Outside community garden at Steller Secondary School, and the Evies Brinery value added food production business which is operated at the Wooden Spoons Commercial Kitchen. Since its launch in December of 2016, Seeds has served 194 youth staff and apprentices and hosted more than 116 repeat community volunteers. Seeds youth split their time approximately 60/40, with 60 percent of their time going to work experience, and 40 percent of their time going to personal and professional development focused activities. Youth enter the program as an apprentice or greenhouse grower, where they learn all aspects of running a food systems focused social impact business. They move out into community employment or up into a trainer role where they help other youth build their skills for success.