Outreach and Development Coordination

Playing to Win (PTW)
VISTA Name: 
Kristen Wernicke
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

In the fall of 2003, the Playing2Win organization welcomed the assistance of two Vista- Fellows: Mr. Max Benitez, Youth Technology Instructor, and Ms. Kristin Wernicke, Outreach and Development Coordinator. During the course of their tenure, Mr. Benitez and Ms. Wernicke served the center in several component capacities.

As Outreach and Development Coordinator, Ms. Wernicke’s responsibilities included the following:

•Researched, coordinated, wrote, and edited general operation and program-specific grants including those to AOL, Ford Foundation, C. Virginia Fields Borough Needs, Home Depot, and William T Grant Foundation.

•Developed and maintained relationships with youth, media, non-profit, and public interest organizations on the local and national levels, including the above mentioned Harlem organizations as well as the Global Action Project, Educational Video Center, Reel Youth, Camp Interactive, Manhattan Community Boards 10 and 11, and community websites east-harlem.org, mibarrio.org.

•Created local resource list for community technology center issues and similar organizations.

•Worked on building an infrastructure for outreach (i.e., managing and creating databases) that is accessible to youth and other staff.

•Developed and maintained outreach database

•Expanded and intensified program partnerships in New York City and the US

•Developed programs and assisted with planning for future outlook of the community technology center

•Researched and wrote both general operation and specific program grants

Project Outcome: 

Vista Fellows were involved with the following:

• The development of research instruments and conduct of an on-going survey of 100 participants and adult and youth programs to better serve our community.

• The development of volunteer support program for the ongoing support of 10 volunteers and recruitment of 10 others.

• Oversaw teacher support assessments and provided ongoing support for 4 teachers in youth and adult programs.

• Provided technical support for our center to keep the 50 machines and network running smoothly

• Assisted with the development of 5-10 proposals to raise approximately $100,000

• Assisted in the development of our Job Training Program recruitment and development.

Impact Quote: 

As the purpose of the AmeriCorps*VISTA program is to provide useful outreach to local communities, our participants echoed their sentiment through visible outreach and service projects. One example I am reminded of was the special PBS viewing of “Every Mother’s Son,” coordinated by Mr. Bentinez. The event called for local law enforcement agents and community members to come together in support of the idea of social change, justice and a forum for communication and healing. This project used the power of media and the passion of human nature to discuss the realities of police brutality in New York City. This event is also an example of a sustainable solution effort and the ability of change.
- Shawna BuShell, Executive Director

Transmission Project