Future Projects – Apply Now!
Recruiting for November 2015
Fairbanks Youth Advocates
Fairbanks Youth Advocates was formed in 2009 with the mission “Facilitating life transitions for at-risk youth.” The organization was formed to meet the gaps of underserved at-risk, marginalized, and homeless youth in the Fairbanks community, and that mission was solidified in 2012 with the opening of an overnight emergency youth shelter and, in 2014, when a permanent, 24-7 shelter for youth aged 12-17 was finally realized. The goal of this project, at its simplest, is to extend Fairbanks Youth Advocates ability to reach and provide for the identified needs of area youth. By identifying ways in which youth can be connected with opportunities for economic stability (through job-training), support reaching their personal goals, and aiding them in connecting to safety through outreach, Fairbanks Youth Advocates will be able to provide a secure footing from which youth can launch. We are provided with an incredible opportunity to extend the reach of what we’re currently able to do, and VISTA will be key in developing and planning for the future. Benefits include: Monthly living allowance ($1,222), relocation costs ($0.34/mile up to $1,000) and settling in allowance ($550) for members moving 50+ miles, health benefits, child care assistance, training in Los Angeles, an Education Award ($5,730) or cash stipend, and $275 cold weather gear allowance.
Current VISTA Sites
Located in Copper River, Alaska, Wrengell Institute for Science and Environment provides science and environmental education to all age groups, resources for learning, and support for scientific research. The goal of the project is to aid the organization in becoming self sustaining so that the programs remain open to all community members, regardless of income, and to expand its reach especially to those youth who need it most. The VISTA works to strengthen and support the organization by working toward long term program and strategic plans, as well as securing long term resources for the organization.
Currently Serving: Alex Bengel (February 2015 – February 2016), Fairbanks
The overall goal of this Financial Literacy VISTA project is to build local capacity in developing, delivering and evaluating youth financial literacy and financial management skills, within the context of basic life skills as developed through the 4-H model. This will involve developing/training a volunteer and business community base, and developing local networks involving schools, businesses, and community organizations/agencies. Through this long term sustainability goal, we hope to increase financial literacy and financial management skills as well as basic life skills of youth for greater success as they transition to adulthood.
Currently Serving: Karla Anderson (February 2015 – February 2016)
Access Alaska Fairbanks’ Youth Transition Program provides opportunities for youth (14 – 21), who experience disabilities, to receive assistance and support in completing their secondary education, developing skills needed to live independently—and entering the world of work. The goal of this project is to develop and staff a sustainable mentoring/tutoring program that will engage people (ages 14-24) who experience disabilities. This VISTA works together with a standing program that offers group work in self-help skills, pre-employment and employment entry skills, career exploration programs, and online tutoring programs.
Located in Fairbanks, Alaska, Breadline’s Stone’s Throw program is designed to move people from poverty or the threat of poverty to self-sufficiency by leveraging the power of food to change peoples’ lives. The program is based on a 20-year+ model called FareStart in Seattle, WA, and replicated through the Catalyst Kitchens Network. Over 60 such projects now exist across the US and in Scotland, at different stages of development and implementation. Some, like FareStart and DC Central Kitchen have been utilizing training in food service skills along with life and job skills (the ‘soft skills’) to change peoples’ lives for 25 years. Others, like Breadline’s, are brand new. Although each of these programs is different in form, each is based on a three-pronged approach to the issue: Feeding People, Training People, and developing an Enterprise to support the mission.
Interior Gas Utility
Currently Serving: David Carlisle (May 2015 – May 2016)
The goal of this VISTA project is to establish a program focused on developing opportunities to convert residents to natural gas, specifically focused on below poverty and income restricted residents. This program is designed to make energy conversion more affordable to below poverty and income restricted residents. This hard to reach segment of the population is at risk of not having the opportunity to convert to natural gas due to financial restrictions. Without a specific approach, this population is at a great risk to remain below the poverty level. However, converting to natural gas can reduce high energy costs, a burden to economic development, and a direct way to alleviate poverty in our communities. IGU recognizes more attention needs to be given to understand the needs of this population, so they can realize the benefits of natural gas and benefit from better air quality.