Story in Brief
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) continues to award Georgia 4-H two AmeriCorps grants - AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and AmeriCorps State. Georgia 4-H first received the VISTA grant in July 2010 and the AmeriCorps State grant in September 2012. During the entirety of these programs, CNCS has funded more than 314 full-time AmeriCorps members. VISTAs and AmeriCorps State members (ACMs) serve in county offices, 4-H Centers and in the State 4-H Office. The goal of the VISTA project is to eliminate poverty. VISTAs build capacity within the 4‐H program to reach marginalized and vulnerable youth via positive youth development experiences reversing negative statistical trends. Through this process youth affected by the 4‐H program will be more likely to graduate high school, not become pregnant during high school, attend postsecondary education, and become positive contributing citizens. VISTA members helped build capacity through volunteer development, fundraising, social marketing, and more, and served in Clayton, Emanuel, Jackson, Thomas, and the State 4-H Extension offices. During the summer months of 2020, five VISTA Summer Associates directly served in five counties, enhancing youth health habits and supporting food security. As COVID-19 showed a larger need for such programming, VISTAs serving Clayton, Emanuel, Fulton, Jackson, and Seminole counties quickly pivoted to offer virtual health programs for youth through cohorts called the 4-H Summer Health Squad. To reach the public during the pandemic, more than 14 videos were created during the year. Since 2010 at its inception, 69 Georgia 4-H VISTAs (the FTE of 55) have raised more than $685,000 in cash and in-kind resources, produced more than 1,500 marketing pieces, and recruited and/or coordinated more than 3,250 volunteers. This year, VISTAs also produced 15 videos to further the reach of programming that are now a sustainable resource. These videos also expanded programmatic reach beyond geographic location. Collectively, these productions have reached more than 4,300 views. The goal of the Georgia 4-H AmeriCorps State Project is to support the mission of Georgia 4-H and increase the capacity of Georgia 4-H to better serve youth. Increased capacity refers to an increase in youth served, expansion of educational opportunities, and development of higher quality opportunities. ACMs currently deliver 4-H programming to youth in grades 4-12 in up to 42 targeted counties in Georgia. During the first nine years of the AmeriCorps State Grant, 205 full, 108 half-time, and two minimum-time members have served more than 350,150 hours, reached more than 152,900 students through in-school programming, 112,925 students through 4-H Project Achievement and recruited more than 1,900 volunteers that contributed over 21,320 hours.