Hey everyone! My name is Jonathan Rosewood and I am a first-year Michigan Nonprofit Association VISTA serving at the Capital Area College Access Network (CAPCAN) in Lansing MI. CAPCAN is a collaborative community network dedicated to increasing the college attainment rate of the Capital Area. Our mission is to increase college and post-secondary readiness, participation, and completion. CAPCAN targets our support and services to low-income, communities of color and first-generation students. Throughout the past month I have been working to implement programs, workshops and activities to help the Capital Area Career Center, Lansing Boys and Girls Club and Exito Educativo to create their own college-going culture among students and to help them prepare for college.
I met with both of my supervisors from CAPCAN and the Career Center, along with other staff members, to develop a yearly schedule of events that promote college. For the year 2017, I will be coordinating several financial aid workshops, a conference that promotes career tech programs from different colleges, college trips, and a college Decision Day in May for Career Center seniors.
I also designed a seven month calendar of events and curriculum to be used at the Lansing Area Boys and Girls Club. AmeriCorps College Advisors will be working with me in the community to coordinate college visits, college representative visits, and college workshops and presentations for the high school students who attend the new Teen Zone at the Club.
Recently, I co-facilitated a series of workshops for Exito Educativo, a program co-sponsored by Michigan State University and the Lansing School District, which allows parents and students from Latino backgrounds to learn about the college process. For this series, I developed and presented several presentations, invited community members to present, and informed parents and students about different educational activities and services provided in the community. All the sessions were co-presented with a native Spanish speaker for those families for whom English was not their primary language.
Throughout the month of November, I have taken advantage of many professional development workshops where I have been able to learn about the VISTA program, how to be a great VISTA, grant writing and how to engage people in the community. I am excited about the opportunity to be a VISTA member and I am excited about the opportunity to work with different community partners and the youth and parents in the Capital Area community.
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!