Coordinator, Stonehill College’s Downtown Center for Community Engagement
A Stonehill Partnership with Brockton’s Promise, the Brockton Community Garden Network & Nonprofit Incubation Space Members
Stonehill seeks the renewal of an AmeriCorps*VISTA position to continue the coordination our Downtown Center for Community Engagement. This position will be supervised by the Vice President for Mission (or the College’s designee), the Farm Manager of the Farm at Stonehill, Bridget Meigs, and the Community Based Learning Fellow, Linnea Carlson. Thus far, the DCCE has enabled us to centralize and enhance many of our current partnership programs focused on youth education, service learning, food access and wellness as well as the adult-education programs that are increasing college access for low-income, young adults. We have also, in this past year, developed an incubation space for small nonprofits serving the local region. Each of these nonprofit partners serve youth, with a focus on educational enrichment partnerships in various capacities.
The Coordinator will have the following responsibilities:
- To coordinate the relationship between Stonehill College and HarborOne Bank on Legion Parkway to create a supportive and effective Downtown Center for Community Engagement for all community partners that use the space. The VISTA will be responsible for scheduling events that happen downtown, will manage the selection of nonprofit groups that will take advantage of this space in ensuring their compliance with our mission, and will provide content and resources for all nonprofit incubation space meetings. Currently we collaborate with four nonprofits in this space all of which focus in some capacity on serving youth. The VISTA will also be responsible for engaging College partners (students, faculty & staff) in order to creatively develop ways that they could use the DCCE space.
- To work with the Farm Manager of The Farm at Stonehill, Bridget Meigs, to develop and coordinate the Brockton Community Gardens Project [CGP]. Over the past two years, the coordinators helped secure and implement small grants, which identified local gardens and created a database to collect information and document garden site liaisons. The grants also helped pay for multiple community trainings for garden directors, facilitators and translators for focus groups, as well as purchase necessary materials to support growth in the raised beds. The most recent planning grant allowed for the VISTA to submit a report to the City of Brockton to suggest ways in which this work could build larger capacity for the garden network, and also allowed for six focus groups inclusive of all populations in Brockton to share their barriers to volunteering and discuss why urban gardens are essential to community wellness. The majority of the gardens are currently located at various Brockton Public Schools and the coordinators have continued to work with teachers and staff to implement STEM curricula related to the urban gardens. This coordination and educational programming will continue, while the coordinator may also pursue a fourth grant in partnership with the Brockton’s Promise – Healthy Start Team as the community advisory board, to plan expansion and maintenance for the long term and create a resource hub within the Downtown Center for garden information and resources. The VISTA will be responsible for the purchasing and delivery of resources deemed appropriate for the gardens (pending funding) and for research ideal models for volunteer retention at each site, as well as organizing network meetings for the garden site leaders on a regular basis.
- To act as a community partner liaison with the Faculty Fellow for Community Based Learning to support CBL classes, assist with logistical planning of partnerships, and work on the development of “Themed” cohorts for Community Based learning classes across disciplines. The VISTA will also be a support for the Faculty Fellow in developing training curriculum for Service Learning and faculty preparation to facilitate their CBL courses.