Hi everyone! I’m Jim Southard and I’m serving at the Lenawee Community Foundation. I am working with our community partners, Lenawee College Access Network (LCAN) and VOLUNTEER Lenawee! I have been extremely busy working directly with LCAN and just successfully wrapped up the Michigan College Application Week campaign.
LCAN’s goal is by 2025, 60% of our residents will have a post-secondary degree or beneficial credential. Michigan College Application Week took place the week of November 3-7. During MCAW several college and universities waive their enrollment application fee, enticing students to apply. Our area high school’s celebrated MCAW in a variety of ways. Including visits from college mascots and recruiters, playing college fight songs while changing classes, college trivia, teachers and staff wearing swag from their alma mater, giveaways, and other fun activities. This year, with my help, we were able to get 9 out of 10 school districts to participate in Michigan College Application Week in some capacity!
VOLUNTEER Lenawee! Has been going through several changes as well. We were using Hands on Connect volunteer matching software and we are now in the process of switching to GiveGab. GiveGab was created as an AmeriCorps VISTA year initiative project, so it was designed by an end-user. This software is a simple solution to managing and promoting volunteers and matching them with opportunities. GiveGab is a web-based platform that is designed like popular social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. This site offers a few features such as the ability to log volunteer hours, create groups, and match volunteer opportunities based on passions and interest. I am excited to complete this transition and launch the new site in January.
It’s hard to believe another year has gone by. In spite of the challenges we’ve all faced, it has been a year filled with many blessings and I am very grateful. I have achieved much recognition for my work and that wouldn’t have been possible without the support of you all! As we say goodbye to 2014, I’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year!
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!