Thursday, February 26, 2015


A vintage VISTA poster, apparently before Alaska was around?
The VISTA program is celebrating its 50th anniversary! Over there years, there have been an amazing Montana Campus Compact, we bring the resources of a network of engaged colleges and universities to this important work. VISTAs who have served with us over the years have helped start up the successful Graduation Matters program, have helped open and expand food pantries, veterans services offices, service-learning offices, afterschool programs. MTCC VISTAs have supported college access and success work, and have built capacity for college student volunteers to address community needs all along the way. Thank you for the support in Montana, AmeriCorps​ VISTA!
and diverse set of Americans who have served, great community-based solutions to poverty problems started and sustained, and huge, positive and direct impacts on people living in poverty.

Specifically, we've had great service over the years from the Corporation for National and Community Service and in particular the Montana office. Over the years, folks like John Allen, Jane Piilola, Jackie Girard, Amy Busch and Anna Yeagle have provided an extremely high level of service to Montana Campus Compact. These folks have helped behind the scenes with grants, funding, member support, impact reporting and all of the day-to-day support that's often overlooked.

In some ways, a fiftieth anniversary of an antipoverty program can't help but be bittersweet. It's an anniversary that provides an important time for reflection and consideration about how we expand good work that's happening, and significantly move more Americans out of poverty. The work is far from complete, and in many ways the challenges of poverty continue to be complex, and offer a rallying point for how we do better as a society.

Here in Montana, we're celebrating the VISTA 50th with Governor Bullock and Corporation CEO Wendy Spencer on March 12th in Helena. Here's the link for that event if you'd like to attend!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


On January 29th we welcomed twelve new AmeriCorps VISTAs to Montana and Wyoming.  They finished their Pre Service Orientation in Helena and continued to a Montana Campus Compact orientation immediately following, where they were joined by MTCC network staff.  We spent three beautiful days at the Montana Learning Center outside of Helena where we got to know our members a little better and they got to know us.  On January 31st we sent our members on their journeys across the state to begin serving.  Our new members include:

Brandon Fish- Blackfeet Community College, Browning
Samuel Garetson- Salish Kootenai College, Upward Bound, Pablo
 Sage Hatch- Fort Peck Community College, Poplar School District
Constance Johnson- Garfield Literacy Center, Billings
Kate Johnson- Bitteroot College, Hamiliton
Dalya Kefi- Kid's Link, Bozeman
Sunny Pate- Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming, Great Falls
Michele Shahczenski- Children's Museum, Missoula
Coral Thede- Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming, Gillette, WY
Jon Van Dyke- Zootown Arts Community Center, Missoula
Lacy Fiore- VISTA Leader, Missoula