Impact America – Tennessee AmeriCorps Position
Many young adults tend to have negative perceptions of people living in poverty, people struggling to get by. Or, worse, they tend not to think much about them at all. As our communities become more homogenous, it is easier to become isolated from many of the problems facing families and children today. Impact America – Tennessee provides an opportunity for recent graduates to engage with individuals unlike themselves in a meaningful way, broadening their perspectives and making a real impact in their communities.
AmeriCorps Members serving with Impact America – Tennessee engage with communities through Impact’s three initiatives: FocusFirst, SaveFirst, and Stories from the Line. FocusFirst ensures that children in urban and rural communities receive comprehensive vision care during their crucial formative years. SaveFirst provides free tax preparation and savings opportunities to facilitate economic improvement for working families. Stories from the Line navigates the complexities of poverty through a series of short films that chronicle the lives of individuals and families living in poverty.
Individuals who serve as a Corps Member with Impact America – Tennessee spend a year of service after graduation at a nationally recognized organization working to mitigate the effects of poverty, while also gaining professional experience and a broadened perspective. Corps Members plan and execute all initiatives that operate in their state of service, as well as recruit and manage the service of college students as they participate in those initiatives. Corps Members are in the community every day, collaborating with community partners and interacting with a diverse group of people, ranging from preschoolers to college students to working parents. The following provides a general idea of what service with each initiative entails:
FocusFirst: Conduct vision screenings for preschoolers. Expand Impact’s network of child care centers receiving services. Process results from vision screenings to ensure follow-up care is provided for all children who need it.
SaveFirst: Obtain certification as an Advanced Volunteer Tax Preparer. Recruit and train college students on tax law. Manage students’ service at community-based sites. Implement marketing strategies to encourage families to utilize free tax preparation. Develop community partnerships to establish tax preparation sites.
Stories from the Line: Identify compelling stories related to our work and produce a series of short films, capturing those stories and developing them into meaningful narratives that can positively influence awareness and action.
This guest post is brought to you by Cat Monaco, State Director of Impact Tennessee.