outreach

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.

Outreach Coordinator and Wireless Network Installation

VISTA Name: 
Ross Musselman
Program Start: 
3/2006
Program End: 
9/2007
Project Description: 

Ross worked with CUWin developers and community members to implement CUWin software by setting up wireless access points. Ross also worked closely with the CUWiN core staff to build sustainability and growth with the project.

Project Outcome: 

Ross was required to wear many hats during his work with CUWin. On the technical and external side Ross work closely with CUWiN developers and local activists to implement CUWiN software in our domestic network sites—setting up wireless access points in areas that community members had identified as key sites. He helped install and troubleshoot network nodes in Champaign and Urbana and develop manuals and instructions in order to provide technical support to local residents and partners to help maintain the local wireless network. Internally, Ross worked closely with the CUWiN core staff to facilitate the growth of the CUWiN project. This showed itself in our growth and the development of our leadership and advisories boards and the partners we have developed.

Museum Outreach and Archiving

VISTA Name: 
Elisha Durrant
Program Start: 
1/2007
Program End: 
1/2009
Project Description: 

ONLINE HISTORY PROJECT COORDINATOR: Continue the development and expansion of TINCAN’s online history site – the Inland Northwest Memories Project; Work with neighborhoods and community organizations to utilize historical information for community identity; Train neighborhood and community organizations on gathering oral histories and preserving historical information in digital format; In collaboration with other TINCAN staff, link community and neighborhood history to other TINCAN community development efforts; Work with K-12 schools to promote utilization of the history site in the curriculum; Continue to develop and expand the Inland Northwest Memories volunteer base; Assist the Inland Northwest Memories project in developing and implementing a long-term sustainability plan.

Project Outcome: 

Elisha manages the Inland Northwest Memories project, an online history archive funded by Humanities Washington. This includes outreach, training, and writing, as well as fundraising and project development. In addition, she works with staff on other projects as needed.

Elisha trained 20 small community museums in the digitization of their collections. She developed a video on the importance of small museums in preserving community history, which has been shown at a number of sites. Elisha is also conducting a seminar series, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, to familiarize secondary school teachers with the events leading to the passing of women’s suffrage in Washington State. She has drawn in a number of new community partners for this project.

In light of Elisha’s success, we have decided to make her a member of our staff after her second year of service.

Impact Quote: 

Elisha has been invaluable to the growth and vitality of the Inland Northwest Memories project. She has found underwriters that will let us continue collecting veteran’s histories, and constantly discovers new sources of history that would otherwise be lost to the community. These primary source materials, when out online, will help our local schools fulfill the state’s ‘Dig Deep’ initiative that requires that students use primary sources in studying history.”
- Karen Michaelson, supervisor

Mobile Learning Lab Youth Outreach Coordinator & Teacher

VISTA Name: 
Richard T. Anderson
Program Start: 
9/2006
Program End: 
9/2007
Project Description: 

Richard was a crucial part of the Mollie youth video team, providing youth access and exposure to digital video technology during Mollie moviemaking video projects with schools and community groups. Richard was especially instrumental in the use of digital audio technology, integrating audio technology into the Mollie youth projects and other GRCMC departments.

Project Outcome: 

Richard assisted the education department with youth outreach curriculum development efforts, developing innovative ways to expose community youth to digital audio and video technology. He developed interest surveys for school and community info. gathering and assisted with the implementation of an open house for CMC Wealthy neighborhood residents. Richard was a member of the SMART Festival planning team, an international student media arts festival organized and hosted by GRCMC..

A particular story that stands out is the use of audio resources and curriculum developed by Richard: There was a young man named Patrick who was 14 years of age and lived across the street from Media Center with his Mom and 6 brothers and sisters. He would drop by the media center often after school. He learned a variety of video production skills and produced a few short studio productions for air on community television, but nothing seemed to really stick with him. One day we asked him to produce and record a rap that could be used for promotion of the Mollie youth program. You could see the excitement in his eyes at that suggestion. In a matter of weeks he had the rap written out and beats to use with it created on the computer. Using the tools and resources Richard had collected and organized, we were able to both find a passion for this young man and help promote our programs and organization.

4People Database Building

VISTA Name: 
Misty Kesler
Program Start: 
9/2005
Program End: 
9/2007
Project Description: 

Misty’s primary responsibilities were maintaining and expanding the 4People database, which provides information and directories about available social services available within Washington State.

Project Outcome: 

Misty was instrumental in developing community resources for every county in Washington State from the grassroots up. She has been instrumental in designing the website in order to better organize resources and make them available to our states residents. Misty single handedly developed the quick, one click away to community resources for each county. By July over 43,000 views of needed services were logged on the website, making it the number one resource listings provided to help people. Misty was also very helpful in marketing the website and making sure individuals were aware of the database. She helped design informational brochures and distributed them to state organizations to give out. Lastly Misty was very successful in collecting and distributing valuable resources, of note was a dozen laptops which she not only acquired, but setup up for our programs, increasing the number of people we can help.

Cyber Cafe Program Building

VISTA Name: 
Bill Martin
Program Start: 
6/2006
Program End: 
6/2007
Project Description: 

The VISTA member was directed to provide additional resources for our online resource listing, expand the Cyber Cafe Mentor program and coordinate its offshoot, the Gateway Program (for people coming out of homelessness) through recruitment and training of volunteers, continue existing collaborations with internal and external organizations serving our population, and, if possible, expand the list of organizations with which we can collaborate (expand our list of possible collaborations; we would do the followup).

Project Outcome: 

The VISTA was active in having the Cyber Café become a full VITA(Volunteer Income Tax Assistant) site, successfully passing an IRS review. The VISTA was helpful in finding and bringing together resources for users of the Cyber Café and developing our educational resources.

CTC Program Building

VISTA Name: 
Marcia Hume
Program Start: 
9/2006
Program End: 
9/2007
Project Description: 

Goal 1: To reorganize our existing CTC into a community information and networking center to benefit neighborhood residents and resource people.

Goal 2: To increase volunteer and program capacity to provide after-school and weekend assistance to students, adults, and organizations seeking training, information technology access, homework help, and job seeking assistance.

Goal 3: To expand the capacity of the Parsells CTC to serve adults and children with varied disabilities, the CTC will increase its resources to adapt the lab to a wide range of learners and users.

Goal 4: Each VISTA worker will work to increase creative educational alternatives for persons with different learning styles, preferences, and needs by offering digital storytelling, photo editing, website development, and other options accessible for all children, youth, and adults who use the computer CTC.

Project Outcome: 

Marcia worked during the year to reorganize the task force/coordinating board of the Parsells and Denver Computer Technology Center. She also coordinated with the Academy for Career Development, which provided computer software, support, and long-distance learning classes for neighborhood adults in basic computer skills. Marcia took several classes herself through the Academy to upgrade her skills and improve her ability to find volunteers for the center. Marcia worked throughout the year with neighborhood groups developing a website based on the needs of these groups, preparing a listserv for the community group, and working to improve communication among various committees and services in the community. Marcia attended meetings of the Youth/Adult Partnership grant, a capacity-building youth-serving grant from NY State, which worked to bring neighborhood groups together and work on youth-chosen activities. Marcia recruited, trained, scheduled, monitored, and evaluated volunteers for the CTC lab. Marcia worked with church members and other volunteers to maintain and expand outreach services to neighborhood youth and adults. Marcia worked on One Voice/One Vision.

Marcia worked with the local neighborhood organization, the Beechwood Organization, to set up a website and improve communication between individuals in the organization and members of the community. She sought input from various parts of the neighborhood and communicated effectively with the web designer and the president of the organization. She was always positive and friendly to the youth who attended the CTC lab. She was also encouraging to volunteers and supporters.

CTC Program Building

Organization: 
Boat People SOS - Virginia
VISTA Name: 
James Nguyen
Program Start: 
4/2001
Program End: 
4/2002
Project Description: 

Goal 1: Provide basic computer skills to target population.
a. Set up CTC in Hampton.
b. Recruit and train 2 ESL and computer instructors.
c. Enroll 5 students for ESL class and 5 students for computer class.
d. Set up local Steering Committee for the implementation of BPSOS programs.
e. Organize workshops on life skills and community needs.

Goal 2: Provide ESL for target population.
a. 4 students will complete the 3-month computer class.
b. Set up after-school activities for youth at CTC.

Goal 3: Human Services.
a. Start citizenship classes.
b. Recruit students for citizenship classes.
c. Help students apply for naturalization, fee waiver, and disability waiver.

Goal 4: Vietnamese-language newspaper.
a. Survey local human services.
b. Organization workshops on human services.
c. Set up a referral service with interpretation and translation to persons with limited English proficiency.
d. Publish a Vietnamese language newsletter covering human services.
e. Train volunteers to help with outreach activities.

Project Outcome: 

When James first joined Boat People S.O.S. (BPSOS) as an AmeriCorps*VISTA Member he was assigned multiple tasks as set forth in his AmeriCorps*VISTA Member Assignment Description. He was able to successfully complete the objectives of Goal 1 for Quarter 1. However, he was not able to complete Objective 2a, to implement an ESL class at the House for Senior Citizens at the Lockwood/Elmwood in Arlington, Virginia for two reasons. First, the occupants did not feel the ESL class was necessary (they were only interested in learning about the Internet and computers). Second, James was not able to recruit a volunteer to teach the class. He did successfully complete Objectives 2b and 2c.

For Quarter 3, James assisted a BPSOS staff in setting up new program for Victims of Trafficking. He worked on this program for approximately one month and then he assisted another staff member with the Tax Assistance for Vietnamese Immigrants with Low Income (TAVILLI) program. From January 1 through April 23, he organized tax preparation sessions 3 days a week, 2 hours each session. He recruited volunteers and established a database containing names of volunteers that may help with future tax clinics. He went out in the Vietnamese community and distributed 800 flyers advertising free tax preparation. He enrolled 300 individuals for tax preparation, and kept a database of those individuals. When he enrolled the individuals for tax preparation, he gave out a needs assessment/opinion survey for them to complete. This survey informed individuals about programs available at BPSOS (computer, ESL and etc…).

Unfortunately, he was unable to complete the objectives as stated in Quarter 4 before the end of his one-year service because the first issue of BPSOS Mach Song was not published until July 2002. However, he did update BPSOS newsletter database. This database contains names of past and current BPSOS clients as well as others who want to receive the newsletter in the mail. Articles written in the newsletter highlight human-interest stories as well as provide information of services available to individuals.

VISTA Leader

VISTA Name: 
Dan Schackman
Program Start: 
6/2004
Program End: 
8/2005
Project Description: 

Dan Schackman joined the CTC VISTA Project management team as one of two VISTA Leaders, after serving for two years as a CTC VISTA at CTCNet. In addition to VISTA Leader duties, Dan has served as Assistant Editor of the Community Technology Review journal and as Associate Producer of the Commonwealth Broadband Collaborative.

Project Outcome: 

As VISTA Leader, Dan
• Helped coordinate CTC VISTA PSO held in Boston August 30-Sept. 1;
• Developed a plan for VISTA Leaders and the Resource Specialist to facilitate monthly regional group conference calls and individual check-in calls with CTC VISTAs serving outside of the Boston area, replicating the MA CTC VISTA monthly in-person meeting, and implemented for his assigned groups in the Midwest and South;
• Redeveloped quarterly CTC VISTA News, the Project’s newsletter for the VISTAs, edited and published in the fall and winter;
• Participated in monthly MA CTC VISTA meetings;
• Provided feedback on various Project office communications and support systems: CTC VISTA Project web site relaunch, CTC VISTA Project blog and individual CTC VISTA Project blogs, Fall “care package” to VISTAs, various memos and resource sharing via email lists.

Notable challenges include: Making sure as many VISTAs, if not all, participate in the check-in calls and blogs, and dealing with VISTAs having particular difficulties at their site and/or in their lives, requiring a lot of time, patience, and tact.

As Assistant Editor, Community Technology Review,
• Developed new features for the journal, including expanded Resources section and Perspective endpiece column with guest writers.
• Did outreach for writers and resource contributors for Winter 2004-05 issue.
• Coordinated and helped edit Winter issue, sections and individual articles.
• Produced web site version of the Winter issue.
• Developed editorial plan for Spring 2005 issue.
• Developing ideas for redesigning web site, and developing advertising opportunities.

As Associate Producer, Commonwealth Broadband Collaborative
• Participated in planning meetings and discussions for future of CBC.
• Developed relationship with The September Project, a community remembrance and civil liberties awareness project focused on September 11 event.

'DigitalBicycle' Online Communities Developer

VISTA Name: 
Peter Bull
Program Start: 
9/2004
Program End: 
9/2005
Project Description: 

Peter Bull began his term of service at LTC in September 2004, and served for one year as LTC’s Online Communities Developer. In this role he led the development of the DigitalBicycle, a collaborative project sponsored by LTC and other partners including the CTC VISTA project.

Project Outcome: 

Peter oversaw and directly implemented numerous aspects of the “DigitalBicycle” project, primarily focusing on developing a Drupal-based centralized web community that leverages the power of the distributed network but provides for efficient and usable group collaboration. This included planning the framework and workflow of the site, the setup and administration of the server, development and implementation of the code that powers the system, and preparation for the future expansion of the project as it moves from a beta project to having a working user base. In addition to developing the core web system, Peter worked with outside volunteers to develop the specification for a desktop publishing application called “Sprocket” and managed its development by outside programmers. Furthermore, Peter has spec’d out and begun development on a Linux-based client-side system, “KickStand”, which handles the automatic seeding and downloading of specified material and is designed to be used by participating organizations.

Impact Quote: 

The fact of the matter is that the CTC VISTA program is directly responsible for where we are today with this project, ready to build capacity for organizations around the country. To get to this point we needed the full-time attention of a highly skilled programmer interested in working in a community-service setting. Not only would we have not been able to recruit someone at this level for this position without the CTC VISTA program, but in our current, pre-income generating phase we never would have been able to hire them. I have long felt that one of the primary strengths of the CTC VISTA program is how it empowers both the organization and the individual volunteer. The individual gains the opportunity to engage full-time on a project that is primed for growth but for which they might never be hired in a normal full-time capacity. The organization gains the opportunity to devote energies that might not otherwise be budgetable and if successful, build its own capacity to a point that it is able to hire an individual to continue the work started under the VISTA project. We are happy to report that this is exactly what happened at LTC.
Though we had high expectations when we were developing our work plan last year and recruiting a VISTA to accomplish it, Peter exceeded our expectations in every regard. While some of this was due to his accomplished background and well-developed skill set, it is mainly due to the fact that Peter worked extraordinarily hard and was as committed to this project as anyone could possibly be. Peter took the idea of 24-hour service quite seriously, working long hours at LTC and often late nights at home. Though frequently traveling on behalf of LTC he has established systems allowing him to continue development anywhere with a network connection. Beyond that, he’s been known to write code by hand on a legal pad when other options are not available. Peter has proven himself as an excellent VISTA and we anticipate that he will do the same as a VISTA supervisor this next year. We are extremely appreciative of Peter’s hard work and of the CTC VISTA project for providing us with the opportunity to grow our capacity so greatly in the past year. The CTC VISTA project is truly our most valuable partner in the DigitalBicycle collaboration and we will work to recognize it as such online and in person.

Transmission Project