HIGH POINT, N.C., Aug. 31, 2016 – High Point University is hosting three individuals to serve through the AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) program for the 2016-17 academic year. This year’s VISTAs are Brittaney McClure, Jenna Rosenbloom and Sami Paterno, all May 2016 graduates of HPU.
This is the third consecutive year VISTAs have been hosted at HPU. They’re led by Dr. Joe Blosser, the Culp Director of Service Learning, while the university provides them with housing, meals, office space on campus and access to student volunteers. They work through the North Carolina Campus Compact, which is committed to bringing local universities together with local nonprofit organizations to fight poverty.
“The VISTA Program is one of the most powerful ways High Point University gives back to our city,” says Blosser. “Through these three full-time employees, the university invests over 6,500 hours of staff time each year in developing sustainable solutions to complex problems in our local community. The VISTAs themselves grow personally and professionally through the program, and they create relationships between faculty, students and community members that last for years to come.”
About the VISTAs:
Brittaney McClure – McClure’s focus in the city of High Point is to increase healthy food options available to residents in addition to maintaining the community garden begun under a previous VISTA through the Washington Street Project. She’ll be active with the Greater High Point Food Alliance and focus on urban agriculture.
“My goal is to have High Point University students and the community working together in programs that alleviate hunger,” says McClure, a native of Weyers Cave, Virginia, who received her degree in communication. “I’m most excited to partner with the community to decrease food insecurity and increase availability of healthy food for the greater High Point area.”
Jenna Rosenbloom – Rosenbloom, from Pittsburgh, is serving at West End Ministries, focusing on their volunteer coordination and training systems that support the organization’s emergency assistance program. She’s also working to make healthy food options more available to the organization’s clients. In addition, she manages the “High Point Food Finder” app for the Greater High Point Food Alliance to ensure all people know where to find healthy food options in the city.
“What I am most excited about in my work with West End Ministries is the opportunity that I will have to follow my passion of helping people in need,” Rosenbloom, a nonprofit leadership and management graduate, says. “I have always had great service learning experiences within the High Point community, and as I was deciding what to do after graduation, I realized how much I would like to continue and expand on those experiences within High Point. The community of High Point has so much potential, and I look forward to working hard to reach that full potential.”
Sami Paterno – Paterno, a Chapel Hill native, is working with the Washington Street community on educational initiatives such as the HPU Community Writing Center, an after school program called PNAC (physical activity, nutrition, academics and character development), as well as other programs such as a potential “little free library” project.
“During my senior capstone course, I interacted with the previous VISTAs on several occasions and had opportunities to work alongside them,” says Paterno, who received her degree in strategic communication. “I was able to get a glimpse into the work they were doing, and Dr. (Joe) Blosser and Dr. (Shannon) Campbell mentioned the open position to me. After talking with the previous VISTA’s about their jobs, and Dr. Blosser on his viewpoint of the position, I decided to apply. I enjoyed my four years in the High Point area, and I’m glad to be here for at least one more.”