May 19, 2011

FVCC Celebrates AmeriCorps Week, Now Recruiting Student Volunteers

This week, Flathead Valley Community College Campus Corps members are celebrating AmeriCorps Week.  AmeriCorps Week spotlights the AmeriCorps organization and its impact on communities across the nation.  

AmeriCorps members recruit, train and supervise community volunteers, tutor and mentor youth, build affordable housing, teach computer skills, clean parks and streams, run afterschool programs, help communities respond to disasters and help nonprofit groups become self-sustaining, among other activities.  Since 1994, over 700,000 individuals have served with AmeriCorps, providing more than 800 million hours of service. 

At FVCC, Montana Campus Corps, an AmeriCorp program, is operated through the Service Learning Office under the supervision of Janaya Okerlund in partnership with Montana Campus Compact.  The program engages college students in meeting community-identified needs through meaningful service by placing them with community agencies, non-profit organizations, schools and health care facilities to address Northwest Montana’s most challenging problems.

During the 2010-2011 academic year, the FVCC Campus Corps team consisted of Team Leader Wendy Jeschke and eight students who were placed with agencies on campus and throughout the community.  These student members and the agencies they served included: Tanya Turner, Community Action Partnership/Volunteer Income Tax Program; Shaunna Ogden, Edgerton Elementary School; Kendra Solberg, FVCC Recycling Program; Deb McPherson, Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter; Logan Anderson, Troy Community Center;  Doug Smith, Upward Bound; Katie Hausauer, Whitefish After-school Program; and Margaret Stell, Whitefish Care.

In addition, 74 Service Learning Campus Corps members addressed community needs through their areas of study including accounting, criminal justice, early childhood education, education, human services, medical assistant, paramedicine, practical nursing, radiological technology and surgical technology.  Altogether, the Campus Corps team and Service Learning members provided approximately 42,000 hours of service within the local community.

In addition to an appreciation banquet and service reflection held earlier this month, a photo display of Campus Corps service and volunteer efforts is available for the public to view in Blake Hall on the college’s Kalispell campus Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Service Learning Office is currently recruiting students to serve on the Campus Corps team during the 2011-2012 academic year.  Applications are available in the Service Learning Office inside Blake Hall or by calling Jeschke at 756-3372 or Okerlund at 756-3908.

For more information on AmeriCorps, visit  To learn more about Montana Campus Compact, visit