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University of Minnesota, Morris partners with AmeriCorps Students in Service

Posted by Matthew Privratsky '11, Walker on Monday, Nov. 22, 2010


Over the next year, the Center for Small Towns and Office of Community Engagement" will offer 15 student positions helping in area communities as part of the AmeriCorps Students in Service program.

For the second time in two years, the University of Minnesota, Morris can offer an opportunity to work with an AmeriCorps program to its students. After helping to develop the MN GreenCorps program, which is on its second year, Morris has been chosen as one of only five colleges in Minnesota to participate in the Students in Service program.

The AmeriCorps Students in Service program partners students with nonprofits, government agencies, and schools. It’s the first year this program will be offered to students in Minnesota. While partnering with communities/organizations in the area students will put in 300 hours of service.

Projects are already established that will partner students with the city of Morris, Stevens Forward (a Stevens County nonprofit), and Resource Connections (performing research on rural broadband internet access). More partnerships will be established in the spring and summer as proposals and applications are received and approved.

Jessica Beyer, who helps coordinate the student involvement component in the Center for Small Towns, thinks this new program should help Morris be even more visible to people who are looking for a way to better their communities and work with a partner like the University. Beyer is excited for the opportunity to offer not one, but two AmeriCorps programs at Morris. More and more students are interested in gaining hands-on experience while in college, and these kinds of programs are a perfect example of what Morris has to offer. Upon completion of the project students will receive an educational award from AmeriCorps to help defray tuition.

Local units of government, K–12 schools, or nonprofit organizations within 60 miles of Morris are eligible to apply for Students in Service assistance. Students can assist with services such as project administration, marketing, data collection and entry, or other needs of an organization. Projects may include addressing issues such as housing, storefront design, program evaluation, document design, newsletter creation, economic analysis, Internet and web training, and more.

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, December 1, 2010. For assistance in preparation of the application, please contact Beyer at 320-589-6451. To obtain an application online, visit www.centerforsmalltowns.org, click on “Program and Services” and select “Students in Service-AmeriCorps.”