|July Volunteer of the Month|
As an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) in her second year of service with Wisconsin Campus Compact, Erica Steele has developed the Empowering Latinos program to the point where it has a waiting list.
“Empowering Latinos has grown exponentially during Erica’s involvement, serving more than one hundred participants in 10 week terms with a waiting list each time,” says Kelly Knox, VISTA Leader at Wisconsin Campus Compact.
Participants work one-on-one with one of their 300 volunteers to address their individual goals. The program is focused on providing tools to help Latino individuals develop and reach their full potential for economic mobility and gain greater access to career and educational advancement leading to self-sufficiency and financial independence.
Participants have advanced via the program to open their own business, take the GED, and enroll in community college degree-programs. The program also enables volunteers to develop relationships with culturally and linguistically diverse community members in the community.
Steele received a certificate of recognition from Volunteer Wisconsin the statewide office on volunteerism and this month is being featured on www.volunteerwisconsin.org as the July Volunteer of the Month.
“Erica is inspiring in her commitment to the Empowering Latinos program,” says Knox. “She has built a program that is not only teaching English skills, but she has also created a community of trust and caring.