May 28, 2019, was a historic day for the Kansas City community and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. A record 41UMKC Students were sworn in as AmeriCorps Summer VISTAs –the largest number in the country – at Miller Nichols Library on campus. UMKC Summer Bridge and Propel staff attended along with family members and state VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) staff.
During the Swearing in Ceremony, students became a part of VISTA, a federal agency within a branch of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The organization has been thriving for fifty years. CNCS’s purpose is to alleviate poverty in the United States and is often described as the in-country version of the Peace Corps. VISTA members work at local sites across the U.S. to help various organizations such as UMKC Propel, Thelma’s Kitchen, and Operation Breakthrough accomplish their organizational goals. Literacy KC has partnered with the UMKC Propel Program to sponsor Summer Associate Student VISTAs’.
Literacy KC’s mission is to, “advance literacy within the Kansas City metropolitan area through direct services, advocacy, and collaboration”. Veronika Fournier of Literacy KC presented the duties, principles and requirements of being a VISTA Summer Associate. The new VISTAs then were sworn into the program, each taking the official VISTA oath to protect the Constitution of the United States from enemies both foreign and domestic. After the ceremony, those in attendance enjoyed a catered lunch from local favorite Waldo’s Pizza to celebrate being members of the one of the largest community organizations within United States.