grant writing

CTC Program Building and Outreach

VISTA Name: 
Shaneka Smith
Program Start: 
8/2005
Program End: 
8/2007
Project Description: 

The focal point of Shaneka’s work over the last year has been developing our computer literacy programs that serve community residents, and helping develop our youth programs that seek to document youth experiences and develop valuable skills by teaching video development and editing.

Project Outcome: 

Shaneka served as the lead in hosting several major youth centered events, including the Intel regional teen summit and the college tour. Recently Shaneka has worked in areas of project and grant development and assisted in managing several major programs and helping with the outreach and marketing of our programs.

In her Second service year Shaneka continues to work closely with the teenage youth and is currently hosting a Girls program for teens ages 13 to 18. The youth are currently involved in forming their own T-shirt corporation from the ground up. Shaneka has helped the youth write business plans, design images for print, and worked towards building an entrepreneurial mindset in the youth. Shaneka continues to develop technology related programs that have youth learning Photo Manipulation using Adobe Photoshop, Animation using Macromedia Flash, Video Production using Sony Vegas and other programs that engage the youth.

Marketing and Outreach

VISTA Name: 
Aaron Chalek
Program Start: 
1/2007
Program End: 
1/2008
Project Description: 

Aaron has worked on a variety of fundraising, PR, and development projects. His main projects include: setting up a database to better organize our individual donor stewardship and cultivation campaign, working with corporate sponsors to secure technology equipment for UTEC’s new youth center, and instituting a new giving program for local corporations.

Project Outcome: 

Aaron has done a significant amount of work with these projects, securing donations of large scale pieces of equipment for UTEC as well as really streamlining the research, cataloging, and time line of our donor campaigns using online research tools and creating a database. He has also done some PR work designing materials for our corporate giving campaign. Additional projects include writing two grants and securing funding for our sports and recreation program. And updating and refining our donor mailing list which we use to send out newsletters, annual appeals, and other updates. He also worked to coordinate and publicize one fundraising event: an organ concert which drew over 60 people to the center, raised $500 and generated an enormous amount of local publicity for UTEC. We’ve had some challenges in focusing these projects in a way that priorities are clear so that deadlines will be met, as there is such a large number of projects to be covered in terms of the fund raising needs of the youth center. Aaron has done a great job of learning more organizational methods, and is putting them into practice in new ways that are really helping his work.

Impact Quote: 

Aaron’s behind-the-scenes service to UTEC and the Lowell community has impacted young people’s lives and their access to resources, particularly technology in so many ways. Recently, Aaron contacted our donors and worked through their networks to secure donations and discounts of computer hardware. His work secured a deep discount of new model PCs and these will be purchased in the next few months. His hard work has ensured new technology for free teen use in our tech center. These young people typically do not have computers or internet access at home, so the addition of newer, faster computers to the tech center will ensure many more young people get access to the Internet each day for help with research, homework, job seeking and communication.

Volunteer Outreach and Program Development

VISTA Name: 
Craig Brown
Program Start: 
8/2003
Program End: 
8/2004
Project Description: 

Goal 1. Recruit volunteers and establish an efficient volunteer system and training program.

Craig contacted various community organizations to recruit volunteers. He also succeeded in getting The EDGE approved as an off-site location with three new Universities for their Federal Work Study Programs. He submitted information to local organizations’ publications to recruit new volunteers and presented fliers at several organizations’ member meetings.

Craig helped recruit and train four regular volunteer instructors and five regular volunteer class assistants. Thirty-one classes were taught by volunteers. The EDGE has had in excess of 2700 hours of help from all volunteers.

During Craig’s year we revised, updated, and standardized curricula and handouts for all classes and made all handouts available on The EDGE website. (http://thelibrary.springfield.missouri.org/edge/techguides.cfm) Craig organized the new class schedule and worked with the volunteers on a training schedule and class instructor guidelines. (http://edge.sgcl.org).

Goal 2. Oversee trained volunteers in the maintenance of the participant and evaluation database, in the collection of follow-up surveys, and in the preparation and support of project courses and projects.

Craig assisted in modifying The EDGE database and implemented a detailed analysis reporting system to the Director for each class conducted including evaluation of attendance trends in core classes and tutorial topic use. He developed standard evaluations for each class and methods to better access the patrons’ response to curriculum and specific instructor impact.

Work-study students were trained to assist with receptionist duties, clerical support, and database data entry for registration, class participation and evaluations.

The EDGE has utilized several employees from the AARP Senior Community Service Employment program. Craig supervised and trained AARP employees working in various areas such as receptionist duties, clerical support, monitoring tutorial sessions, and data entry.

Craig oversaw the expansion of the self-help tutorial programs to include additional daytime sessions by opening of and securing staffing for a second room dedicated to tutorial sessions during these expanded sessions. 719 tutorial sessions were offered in the tutorial room.

Goal 3. Participate in grant writing and other forms of fundraising, develop media partners, and increase publicity to help ensure the success and sustainability of The EDGE.

Craig submitted articles for newsletters, created flyers for distribution at organizational meetings, and coordinated inclusion of our schedules and tutorial brochures at the Missouri Career Center.

He assisted in the development of numerous grant proposals, although no grants were awarded during his year of service.

Craig developed a comprehensive “Corporate” package that was presented to the Executive Director and the Library Board for consideration in the yearly budget process. Craig assisted in a developmental presentation made to the Library’s Board of Directors at a meeting held at The EDGE Community Technology Center.

Craig attended the “Business and Technology Expo” held in Springfield in October. It is the largest expo of its kind in southern Missouri. He was able to network with many local businesses and make initial contact for future development. All contact information received there has been submitted to the Project Director.

Project Outcome: 

During the past year with Craig as a VISTA, we increased our attendance at the EDGE facility. Attendance at all classes and activities for the year was 3693.

Craig was responsible for insuring that The EDGE Community Technology Center continued to provide a much needed service to the community during his year of service as a VISTA member. He stepped forward to assist in instruction when needed and took the “Library Express” out for classes and special projects. He built a valuable pool of trained volunteers that will continue to serve. Craig stepped up in any situation to lend a hand or his expertise to solve a problem or enhance an opportunity. He worked well in supplying needed support and proposals to the Executive office and Board as warranted. The VISTA program has proven vital to The EDGE’s continued growth and success.

CTC assistance

Organization: 
MAAC Project
VISTA Name: 
Antonio Moreno
Program Start: 
6/2002
Program End: 
11/2002
Project Description: 

Goal 1: Resident use of computer labs will increase substantially among both adults and youth.

Goal 2: Resident use of technology for community building and communication will increase substantially.

Goal 3: Public and private sector resources will enable the project to continue after Members leave.

Project Outcome: 

• Completed a CTC lab inventory
• Set-up user registration database and survey form
• Established a set of rules and regulations for the users
• Set up regular computer classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the months of July
• Basic computer classes were taught with adults.
• Oversaw the operations of the CTC
• Working with volunteers to instruct basic classes
• Set up policies and procedures for new computer center

Due to circumstances outside of Antonio’s control (staff reduction at San Martin), Antonio had no supervision. It was decided that Antonio would try to work in the computer center at the new MAAC charter school. It turned out to be a good match. We feel that both Antonio and the Charter School have benefited from this new arrangement.

CyberY Outreach and Program Building

Organization: 
Egleston YMCA CyberY
VISTA Name: 
Michelle Rogers
Program Start: 
9/2004
Program End: 
9/2005
Project Description: 

Michelle’s main goals since joining the YMCA have been to work both with the YMCA programs and the wider community to increase the visibility and programming of the CyberY. She has not only created some resources, but has also placed a priority on using resources that already exist, so as to not recreate the wheel.

Project Outcome: 

• Michelle helped to increase the time MCA/School aged childcare program (SACC) is doing educational activities in the lab, particularly around a lesson plan for the after school on how to create their own newsletter using the creativity and technology in the Cyber Y.

• Michelle has completed a three-week introduction to computers course that had five participants.

• During her first month, Michelle helped to write a grant to partner with the Ecumenical Social Action Council to do a graphics training project with youth. It is hoped that two out of the 12 youth will take a leadership role to make this project happen next year.

• Michelle has been working closely with other tax sites, staff, and the CyberY Developer to make this a successful project.

• Weight Watchers—met with the program to discuss how they could use the CyberY.

• Timothy Smith Network—working to secure and implement the Kinetic City program.

Workforce Development Coordinator

VISTA Name: 
Elizabeth Chesler
Program Start: 
9/2004
Program End: 
9/2005
Project Description: 

Our VISTA volunteer, Elizabeth Chesler, has undertaken the role of Workforce Development Coordinator. In that capacity Elizabeth has been invaluable in identifying resources, providing planning and coordination for IT related projects, and helping with capacity building by researching and applying for grants and in-kind assistance. One of the main and most important projects Elizabeth is working on is a Microsoft data management project for which she is serving as an in-house and affiliate liaison and testing a prototype. Another project in which Ms. Chesler has become indispensable is the school bookstore, which under her leadership recently had its grand opening. The bookstore, which sells textbooks, dictionaries, and other study related products as well as school support items such as t-shirts and hats, is a much-needed resource which also generates unrestricted income. This project is helping to support the Workforce Development programs, including the IT programs.

Project Outcome: 

Elizabeth’s contribution to the Carlos Rosario School in coordinating the Microsoft data software is a prime example of a VISTA volunteer getting things done in the community. The software will make a great impact on the efficiency of the school and will help it to better serve thousands of students. The finished product will also be utilized by countless organizations which serve communities all over the United States.

Another example is opening the student bookstore. In her role managing the bookstore, Elizabeth interacts daily with many of the hundreds of students who attend the school. She has been the driving force behind a resource which allows students to quickly and easily access supplies essential to their learning. Prior to the opening of the in-house bookstore, students were only able to purchase textbooks during limited on-site visits from the supplier, or had to make a special trip to an off-site store. Many students have limited transportation options, and the availability of on-site resources makes a huge impact in the school community. The bookstore, which held its grand opening last week, has already generated approximately $1500 in net proceeds for the school.

Mentor and CTC Support

VISTA Name: 
Amanda Lasik
Program Start: 
9/2004
Program End: 
9/2005
Project Description: 

Our vista member’s accomplishments can be thought of as serving four broad categories, the Community Technology Center (CTC) program, mentoring support for staff and students, sustainability & organizational capacity building, and personal development. Her work in the CTC involved development of curriculum and outcomes for our computer literacy education program and increasing the use of the CTC as an independent learning center. She also assisted with teaching classes and individual learning projects.

As a mentor she supported and empowered our staff, all former program participants, through building their computer skills, and supporting their growth in organizational leadership. Through modeling, working with recruiting and cultivating volunteers, she mobilized and supported student involvement in a variety of activities.

Project Outcome: 

As a result of her work with issues related to sustainability and donor cultivation we were able to consistently produce and distribute our newsletter and double the revenues generated from our annual event. We were able to add a new cultivation event “Lunch on Us” which has resulted in 120 new prospects/donors for our organization. She also organized and laid a system for grant development accumulating appropriate materials which contributed to the efficiency of grant development.

Amanda increased her Spanish language skills and through our leadership development program began to identify and address her own leadership strength and weaknesses.

Impact Quote: 

Amanda Lasik is a remarkable addition to our staff serving as a VISTA member.  Her ability to perceive the need and remain flexible is very helpful in our situation.  She also has adapted well to our organizational culture providing mentoring and leadership for those we serve. It is a pleasure to work with this bright and talented woman. 

Marketing and Outreach

VISTA Name: 
Ashley Cross
Program Start: 
9/2004
Program End: 
9/2005
Project Description: 

Install, maintain and troubleshoot a wireless network of 30 laptops, the Mobile Lab, by November 2004

Increase the number of youth served by the CLC from 500 to 600 (a 20% increase) by the end of the VISTA term, with the addition of the Mobile Lab Project.  We may surpass this target number by recruiting Camino Nuevo High School youth, who can earn elective credits for participating in the MLP.

Create job descriptions and train 2-4 technologically advanced high school interns to teach younger CLC participants.

Public and private sector resources will enable the project to continue after the VISTA member leaves.

Create a manual of procedure on how to update the website after VISTA member leaves.

Recruit local college volunteers to work with high school youth on developing the HOLA Fun Zone (HOLA’s youth website).

Project Outcome: 

HOLA’s AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, Ashley Cross, has been an amazing addition to Heart of Los Angeles Youth (HOLA). You need only visit our new and improved website to see the many ways that she has made a tremendous impact upon the organization. At www.heartofla.org you will see updated stories and press releases which Ashley designed and published. She also designed and formatted a link for point of donation opportunities, as well as a merchandizing page featuring HOLA cards designed by our youth. HOLA has received close to $3,000 in donations through our website to date, which funds can be directly attributed to Ashley’s efforts. We also received a $50,000 grant that came through our new and improved site. Please take a look at the home page and the articles included on the site, which Ashley was responsible for designing and formatting. Ashley was able to recreate on our web site the entire article about HOLA, including photographs, which was published in “La Opinion”. She was responsible for creating the Special Events page and many of the stories and pictures throughout the site. At the same time, we have been able to hard copies of the PDF articles from the web site to form an integral part of HOLA’s press packet. Ashley’s contribution to the HOLA website is only one very critical part of how she’s expanded the capacity for our organization.

Ashley succeeded in refurbishing the 30 laptops ahead of schedule, but the organization encountered some unforeseen obstacles in procuring battery packs, a wireless router, wireless cards, and most importantly, a space to accommodate the Mobile Lab Project. Thanks to Ashley’s research, these were obtained during the last quarter of her term. While these challenges were being addressed, we added the new goal of increasing the capacity of HOLA’s development office through the overall improvement of the website, which Ashley undertook with great efficiency and success.

The Mobile Lab Project is now slated to be unveiled in March or April of 2006, a successful culmination of Ashley’s research and development efforts. Batteries, cards and a router have been obtained, and funds have been secured for the build-out of the new Teen Center.

Impact Quote: 

Ashley’s ability to accomplish tasks quickly has greatly enhanced HOLA’s public image, giving a much-needed dynamic quality to the website, much to the organization’s benefit. Because she finished the Mobile Laptop Project in such a timely manner, HOLA was able to gain additional financial support from national companies towards launching a new Teen Center. Ashley successfully adapted to the new goals as they evolved during the year, and she was able to complete the tasks set out for her before the end of her contract. Fortunately for Heart of Los Angeles Youth, Ashley’s next post will be as a full-time staff member. She joined HOLA’s staff as the Bridges After School Manager and Volunteer Coordinator on September 19, 2005.

Community Outreach and Organizing

Organization: 
Friendship House
VISTA Name: 
Mike Connolly
Program Start: 
9/2004
Program End: 
9/2005
Project Description: 

1. Form a Steering Committee to assist in the development of the CTC.
2. Complete community analysis and assessment.
3. Design the initial program and determine requirements.
4. Develop a business plan.

Project Outcome: 

• Completed the demographic analysis of the neighborhood
• Formed a Steering Committee (SC)
• Developed a survey form for assessing and prioritizing the desires of the neighborhood
• Assessment of the neighborhood is underway
• I attended 3 grant-writing seminars (2 general and 1 on government grants)
• I helped define the scope and vision for the project and the organization’s future
• I am overseeing a pilot program
• I supervised the expenditure of $45,000 for technology equipment
• I am in the process of developing an operational budget and MOU’s
• I am researching funding opportunities

CTC Outreach and Research

VISTA Name: 
Michael Eagle
Program Start: 
9/2004
Program End: 
5/2005
Project Description: 

Goal 1: Increase attendance at CTOC events by 30%.
Goal 2: Help to coordinate a minimum of six CTOC events.
Goal 3: Assist in the development of training curriculum for Train the Trainer events.
Goal 4: Assist in the evaluation of CTOC’s project activities.
Goal 5: CTOC will leverage national, regional and local resources, including AmeriCorp*VISTA members to ascertain funding and enable the growth of the project.

Project Outcome: 

Mike has updated CTOC’s current database and is 70% complete with updating the information on CTOC members of organizations. Our VISTA has gained considerable knowledge of the organizations listed in our membership database and will be able to easily consolidate both databases into one main database. With the consolidation of both databases that total over six hundred (600) CTC’s, CTOC will be able to significantly improve our outreach efforts.

As part of the updating procedures we have contacted each organization to establish a contact person for each non-profit organization that provides technology services. Mike has completed updating 70% of the organizations’ contact information and has been able to find a designated person for each organization and updating their email addresses. His efforts to gain the correct contact information for these organizations has provided CTOC with a face and voice in the community and increased our visibility with CTCs in Los Angeles. With the increased visibility in the CTC community we have been able to increase the attendance of CTOC members and Non-Member to event workshops by at least 30%.

Mike has designed and developed promotional materials for at least three of CTOC’s events over the past three months.

Mike reviewed materials on evaluation methods and was instrumental in assisting CTOC’s staff in the development of a survey instrument that we are using to collect data on the CTCs in the Los Angeles region. Mike completed 24 CTC site visits in Los Angeles. Not only have these site visits given us a chance to collect information on the local CTC, it has given him an opportunity to get first hand knowledge of the types of programs that are offered by the various CTCs around Los Angeles. We have collected data on 61 CTCs in the Los Angeles region including San Bernardino County. Over the past six (6) months he has enter the 60% of the data that will be used of evaluation. Over the next six (6) months he will assist the staff with data evaluation.

Mike has provided us with information on funding resources that are available via the CTCnet listserv. He has participated and given input in our discussions on being a CTCnet chapter affiliate. He will be doing some research and grant writing for demonstration project that we will undertake.

Transmission Project