Bridging Together Passion and Purpose

VISTA Logo-01

For over twenty years, CAC AmeriCorps has recruited groups of people to spend a year of their life in service to East Tennessee. In the past, CAC has hosted a robust State/National Environmental Corps. This year, twelve AmeriCorps VISTAs, or Volunteers in Service to America, were added to the mix. VISTA as a program has been around since 1965, engaging Americans of all ages in working with non-profits and government organizations to alleviate poverty; CAC’s VISTA members focus on creating healthy futures and economic opportunity.  VISTAs are different from State/National members in that they work behind the scenes building capacity for organizations by recruiting volunteers, securing donations and funding, and creating projects that help the organizations they support better serve the community. Continue reading

Expect the Unexpected with National Service

Article Author:
Lauren Parker, CAC AmeriCorps Member 2015-2016 ; 2016-2017

I wish I could say that my introduction to AmeriCorps was born from a burning desire to improve my community and engage in environmental service. It was the result of a hasty post-graduation job search as I knew my laboratory technician job at UT had an imminent expiration date.

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As a symbol, I can be incorruptible, everlasting.

Article Author:
Jason Scott, CAC AmeriCorps Program Director & AmeriCorps*NCCC Alum, 2006

After spending some time with Weasel the farm cat on a rainy Thursday morning in April, I had the opportunity to sit down with Adam Caraco, a 2008-2009 alum of CAC AmeriCorps and the Assistant Urban Agriculture Director of CAC Beardsley Community Farm in a barn filled with a variety of used, but obviously maintained farm and labor apparatuses.

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Dirty Hands, Clear Mind

Article Author:

Kellie Hill,  CAC AmeriCorps Member 2016-2017

CAC AmeriCorps has given me the opportunity to move to a city in which I never thought I’d live, and serve a community that has grown so close to my heart. I am incredibly grateful for the way that CAC AmeriCorps allows me to connect with a site so specific to my interests and passions, and the direction that it has given me as a recent college graduate. Because of my first service term in Knoxville, Tennessee at CAC Beardsley Community Farm, I have grown as a person and felt connections in ways that are irreplaceable. During my senior year of university as a geography student, I had many goals and ambitions for what I wanted to do with my focus in humanities. It is intimidating to enter the “real world” without much work experience in one’s field, and I feel that AmeriCorps is a great way for young adults to ask questions and gain insightful experiences.

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Searching for Certainty

Article Author:

Kevin Ridder, CAC AmeriCorps Member 2016-2017

Before I kick this post off, let me ask you my all-time least favorite question: where do you see yourself in five years?

If you think you know, congratulations! If you are now filled with a raw, seething hatred, you’re not alone. I couldn’t even tell you what I’m doing for dinner tonight.

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A Massachusetts Yankee in the (not really) Deep South

Article Author:
Emily Barbour, CAC AmeriCorps Alum 2014-2015

When I accepted a position with AmeriCorps in Knoxville one month after graduating from my small liberal arts college in New England, I had a lot of assumptions about what living in the South would mean. Now, depending on where you’re from, you might consider me a southerner. I’m from Maryland where we are technically south of the Mason-Dixon line, though we sided with the north in the Civil War. When I moved up to Massachusetts for college I was told sternly that I was a southerner, but whenever I venture south of the DC bubble I’m told in no uncertain terms that I’m not allowed to refer to myself as a southerner. All of this was more than enough to give a native of the Mid-Atlantic a mild identity crisis, but, in the end, I have chosen to label myself as a northerner, because that’s where I feel most at home. So moving to Knoxville, a town I had only just barely heard of, in what I, at the time, considered the Deep South was more than a little daunting.

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