Two Fort Hays State University employees were recently inducted into Volunteers In Service For America (VISTA), a branch of the AmeriCorps program which battles poverty in America.
Kandi Craig, Hays graduate and assistant director of the Kansas Youth Leadership Academy. and Kristen Goehausen, Leawood graduate and service learning specialist, were two of the eight representatives selected from Kansas.
Several FHSU students and employees applied for the program, with each applicant interviewing for the position.
Kelley Kuhlmann, Dodge City graduate student and assistant director for the Office of Civic Engagement, said Craig and Goehausen were perfect matches for the program.
" Kandi had previously worked with our youth program. She really cares about kids, is really passionate about the work and has done this for a long time," Kuhlmann said. "Kristen has been involved with the same thing and is very interested in becoming a part of leadership program."
For the past 35 years, VISTA members have been combating poverty in the United States. The agency also focuses on fighting illiteracy, improving health care services, creating businesses, increasing housing and providing technology. To work on these issues, the more than 130,000 members are each given a specialized task based area of expertise.
Craig is building a curriculum for youth and Goehausen is doing service learning and working with teachers to build a youth program.
Craig and Goehausen will continue work on and develop their projects for the next year, after which time their VISTA membership expires.
" I think VISTA is a really exciting program, especially when you first get out of college," Kuhlmann said. "Oftentimes when students graduate, they don't know what to do. VISTA is a great way to get out, help someone for a year. The students who are active in VISTA are really the ones building this program. It's just a great opportunity for anybody wondering what to do."