UW-Parkside VISTA Alumna Alicia Jarret receives 2017 Governor’s Service Recognitions AmeriCorps VISTA Participant of the Year award
Alicia Jarret served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with the UW-Parkside VISTA Project for one year at John XXIII Educational Center in Racine, WI. Alicia was motivated to become a national service member because she saw a chance to be more closely connected to her community and to work with an organization that addressed poverty. Alicia grew up poor and understands the difficulty of escaping that reality. Due to her past experience, she recognized the impact AmeriCorps VISTA members have on their communities by working to alleviate poverty in many capacities.
John XXIII Educational Center's mission is to prepare and empower middle through high school students who are economically and educationally disadvantaged. In 2009, a United Way of Racine County study identifying needs in the community found that only 52% of minority students graduated from high school. John XXIII's programs address this need in Racine by providing mentoring and tutoring programs afterschool. As a VISTA member, Alicia built capacity through resource development and volunteer recruitment and management. She played a part in securing $76,000 in grants to help fund the organization's programs, which helped the Center serve 197 students in their on-site Afterschool program, 128 students directly in the high schools and 10 families through the Parent Education program. Alicia also developed an assessment tool to measure the impact the programs had on participants.
Alicia's passion for serving her community was not confined to her hours at John XXIII Educational Center. During her service year, Alicia connected with VISTA members interested in collecting bottled water for the residents of Flint, MI during their water crisis. This was done in partnership with AmeriCorps NCCC members serving in Flint at the time. Alicia is the epitome if what it means to lead by example. She has made an immense impact at John XXIII as a VISTA, never complaining or asking to be thanked. Her dedication to service makes her a very deserving recipient of the 2017 AmeriCorps VISTA Participant of the Year.