Extension office welcomes AmeriCorps volunteerThis summer the St. Croix County University of Wisconsin-Extension Office has added an AmeriCorps VISTA to their educational team, Heather Pederson.
This summer the St. Croix County University of Wisconsin-Extension Office has added an AmeriCorps VISTA to their educational team, Heather Pederson.
VISTA stands for Volunteers in Service to America and is the domestic equivalent of the Peace Corps. AmeriCorps VISTA’s mission is to create and expand programs that ultimately help bring low-income people and communities out of poverty.
In 2003, UW-Extension and AmeriCorps VISTA became partners. The effort now has grown to include every UW-Extension district in the state.
The goal of the partnership is sustainability — mobilizing individuals, building partnerships, developing programs that empower youth and adults, then stepping aside and letting the residents take over and lead the way.
Pederson will have a busy summer working with other county educators to develop and teach an educational program called, “Sintiendose Bienvendia en Wisconsin: Feeling Welcome in Wisconsin.”
These monthly educational sessions for Latino/Hispanic immigrants will focus on the following topics: Introduction to American foods, making traditional foods healthier, stretching your food dollar, gardening, freezing foods and American celebrations and food.
Having a VISTA volunteer helps UW-Extension extend and strengthen existing youth and family programs along with creating new ones.
Pederson is a 2009 graduate from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and will be pursuing her master’s degree in school counseling this fall.
Pederson has many experiences working at the St. Croix County Extension Office as the 4-H summer assistant for two summers, the family living intern and a volunteer.
For more information, contact the St. Croix County Extension Office at 715-684-3301, ext. 5.