Habitat CFC has had the privilege to work with a number of teams of young people over the past several years that came to help our organization through AmeriCorps Direct, Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) and National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). AmeriCorps is often referred to as a domestic version of the Peace Corps. Our current AmeriCorps are- Matt Bewley (AmeriCorps Vista, Construction Systems Development), Emily Dreskin (AmeriCorps Vista, Volunteer Development) and Rachel Heiser (AmeriCorps Direct, Construction Crew Leader)!

Matt graduated from Harvard College in 2014, and came to Connecticut in 2015 for a year of VISTA service at the City of Bridgeport. Matt first started volunteering on Habitat builds in his hometown of San Antonio, TX, and was excited to find an opportunity to get more involved with Habitat in the community he’s come to know over the last year. Matt’s job will be to figure out how the pieces of Habitat CFC’s operation can work together more efficiently. In his free time, Matt likes to hike, run, read good books, and eat good food.

Emily received her bachelor’s degree from Purdue University in 2013 and began working at a trade association in Washington, D.C. After three years with the organization, she decided to make a change and returned home in search of an opportunity to continue in public service while preparing to attend law school. She hoped Habitat would be that opportunity and is excited to be here. Emily first became involved with Habitat in high school when she participated in local builds and restorations near Hartford, Connecticut. In 2009, she traveled to Biloxi, Mississippi for a school-sponsored build as part of the hurricane Katrina relief effort. She was impressed and honored to be part of making such a tangible difference in the lives of those most affected by the disaster and quickly became invested in Habitat’s mission.

Rachel is originally from southern New Jersey. She has an Associate degree in Mathematics and recently graduated from Drexel University with a Bachelors of Science, concentrating on Construction Management with a minor in Architecture. Over the past 3 years, Rachel has volunteered for Habitat with her college over spring break and was ecstatic to learn of the opportunity to volunteer for a longer period. While she is here, she hopes to help further the goals of Habitat CFC and to gain first hand experience she can use in her future career. In her free time, Rachel enjoys reading, playing board games and spending time with family and friends.

More about AmeriCorps

State and National Direct:

The largest of AmeriCorps programs, AmeriCorps State and National provides funds to local and national organizations and agencies committed to using national service to address critical community needs in education, public safety, health and the environment.

Each of these organizations and agencies, in turn, uses their AmeriCorps funding to recruit, place, and supervise AmeriCorps members.

After successful completion of their term of service, AmeriCorps members earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award that can be used to pay for college or graduate school at Title IV schools, or to repay qualified student loans. Full-time AmeriCorps members also receive a modest living allowance, health care benefits and child care assistance.

VISTA:

Thirty-seven million Americans live in poverty. Through AmeriCorps VISTA, you can make a tangible difference. And, you’ll find the fulfillment that comes from using your knowledge and skills to help those in disadvantaged circumstances turn their dreams into reality.

AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 and incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993, VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for more than 40 years.

VISTA members commit to serve full-time for a year at a nonprofit organization or local government agency, working to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses, strengthen community groups, and much more. With passion, commitment, and hard work, you’ll create or expand programs designed to bring individuals and communities out of poverty.

NCCC:

AmeriCorps NCCC is a national service initiative that is part of the larger USA Freedom Corps that works to mobilize citizens to take part in community service. It was modeled after the Civilian Conservation Corps. Americorps NCCC is a specific  AmeriCorps program where people ages 18-24 serve for 10 months on a team that completes service projects throughout a geographic region.  They complete a minimum of four service projects through the year. Our teams have come from the campus based in Perry Point, MD.  These teams serve the eastern area of the U.S., but they respond to disasters nationwide.

Since Hurricane Katrina devastated the gulf coast states in August 2005, AmeriCorps NCCC has played an active role in the recovery efforts. Many of the teams that have worked with Habitat CFC since then also spent time in the gulf, and we applaud their work.