Lyndon State College is expanding outreach to communities within the Northeast Kingdom.

Lyndon State Implements New Outreach Program

The merging of two programs results in outreach powerhouse.

July 27, 2015

Two existing programs at Lyndon State College are joining forces to expand their outreach to communities within the Northeast Kingdom. Lyndon State has just been awarded $375,000 in state formula funds to implement a new AmeriCorps initiative. The Patrick and Marcelle Leahy Center for Rural Students and Northeast Kingdom Initiative (NEKI) created the Lyndon Economic opportunity AmeriCorps Program (LEAP), which will launch September 1, 2015. AmeriCorps is a federal initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). It places thousands of young adults nationwide into intensive service positions where they learn valuable work skills, earn money for education, and develop an appreciation for citizenship.

Established in 2009 at Lyndon State, the Leahy Center for Rural Students aims to understand and improve the factors that influence rural students’ educational and occupational success. The current AmeriCorps program, Northeast Kingdom Initiative (NEKI), will complete its 20th year at the end of August with the retirement of program director Anne Brown. Over the last two decades, NEKI has successfully placed AmeriCorps volunteers at twelve sites across the NEK to help educate communities (particularly youth) in the areas of healthy living, early literacy and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs.

The new LEAP will serve as an umbrella under which regional AmeriCorps members will address economic opportunity at partner sites. Sites will provide focused programming on early literacy outreach, food safety and security, health and economic security, building scientific and cultural capital, and postsecondary opportunity outreach. LEAP will also recruit AmeriCorps members who are “first generation,” the first in their family to strive toward a four-year college degree. For the new initiative, existing NEKI partner sites will remain in place and up to three additional sites (including the Leahy Center) will be added.

For more information about this exciting new program at Lyndon State College, including interest in site sponsorship of an AmeriCorps member, contact Lindsay Carpenter at 802-626-6638 or email Lindsay.jones@lyndonstate.edu.

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