Welcome to the first post of the CCCE Blog!
We (CCCE staff and guest posters) will use this space to share updates and stories about happenings at the intersection of campus and community life.
Reflecting on this season of Thanksgiving, we would like to take a moment to give thanks to four fantastic teammates – the Americorps VISTA team based at the CCCE. AmeriCorps is a national service program designed to alleviate poverty. The Alma College AmeriCorps Program focuses on education and healthy futures through a variety of initiatives championed by the four VISTAs.
Hannah, Taylor, Mitch, and Kate: We are so grateful for the tremendous work you are doing to engage Alma College students with important work in the community! Please introduce yourselves and tell us about yourselves and your roles.
“My name is Hannah Pride-Smith and I am the Volunteer Coordinator for Post-Secondary Education Access. I am working closely with Alma High School running their College Club, helping with the A.S.A.P. program and trying to get the high schoolers to think about the future. I graduated from the University of Michigan in 2021 and am hoping to get a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling after my Americorps term! Outside of work, I like to read and do puzzles. I also have two fish who keep me company here in Alma!”
“My name is Taylor Payne and I am the Volunteer Coordinator for Food Insecurity Programs. I am working closely with the First Presbyterian Church in Alma with their Community Café program and their Food Pantry. I am also working on the campus Food Pantry as well as helping with the Alternative Break program here at Alma College. I graduated from Central Michigan University in 2020, and am hoping to pursue a master’s degree in School Counseling! Outside of work, I like to paint and hang out with my cat. I also love to read and I hope to one-day write a book of my own!”
“My name is Mitchell Spitzley and I am the Volunteer Coordinator for people with disabilities and families experiencing homelessness. I work with Dream Works Inc. in Ithaca, a nonprofit organization that provides social, recreational, and vocational opportunities to people with differing abilities. I also work with Gratiot County Hope House in St. Louis, which provides a crisis cold weather shelter to address homelessness in Gratiot County. I recently graduated from Central Michigan University in 2021 and majored in Psychology.”
“My name is Kate Stymiest and I am an Americorps Vista Volunteer Coordinator for LGBTQ+ support and resources. My community partners include Queers Taking Initiative (QTI), The Alma High School GSA, and Highland Blush. I also help run the Gender Affirming Closet, the Alma College Food Pantry, and event coordination with the Alma College Student Engagement team. I am currently a senior here at Alma studying political science. I am hoping to continue my education with a master’s and law degree in human rights and international law. In my free time, I enjoy reading, traveling, and yoga. A fun fact about me is that I have a cat named Nina.”