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AmeriCorps Member Creates Mural at CYO

Written by: John DeRousie, Custom Marketing Solutions
Fulton, NY – When CYO Coordinator, Stacie Roberts wanted to spruce up the CYO facilities she knew just who to turn to, AmeriCorps Member, Amanda McFarland.

A freshman at SUNY Oswego, McFarland joined the CYO staff earlier this year and has been involved in every aspect of the program.

AmeriCorps member, Amanda McFarland (right), works on the new mural being painted on the Catholic Charities’ CYO Facilities in Fulton.  The mural, which serves as McFarland’s AmeriCorps community project, depicts the many programs and activities that CYO provides for area youth. At left is Stacie Roberts, coordinator of Catholic Charities’ CYO Program.
AmeriCorps member, Amanda McFarland (right), works on the new mural being painted on the Catholic Charities’ CYO Facilities in Fulton. The mural, which serves as McFarland’s AmeriCorps community project, depicts the many programs and activities that CYO provides for area youth. At left is Stacie Roberts, coordinator of Catholic Charities’ CYO Program.

“Amanda has been a valuable asset to the CYO program,” said Roberts. “When we discussed ways in which we could improve the aesthetics of our facilities, Amanda suggested a colorful mural that would convey all that the CYO has to offer. I thought a mural was a great idea and Amanda was eager to develop a plan and get started.”

To make her idea for a mural a reality, McFarland recruited volunteers from interested CYO participants, CYO mentoring program participants, and reached out to other youth services agencies.

After collaboratively deciding on a design, McFarland and her volunteers began painting a mural that will include nine individual sections.

“We are creating a mural that captures the essence of the CYO program. The mural, which will cover the walls of the CYO’s middle gym, represents the variety of youth programs that CYO provides for our community. To accomplish this we have designed themed artwork representing education, sports, nutrition, arts and crafts, nature, community involvement, and CYO activities in general,” explained McFarland.

According to Roberts the project is progressing nicely and the volunteers are proud to be a part of it.

“They are really excited about it and are enjoying the experience. It is allowing Amanda to connect with our CYO participants and other youth volunteers on a much different level. It’s the type of project that anyone can be involved with. From prep work to painting and clean-up there is something for everyone to do,” said Roberts.

As part of McFarland’s AmeriCorps membership she is to undertake a community service project.

She said that the CYO mural was a perfect fit for her project.

“The CYO program is an important fixture in the community. Area youth have been coming here for years to spend quality time with their peers, and partake in the many activities that CYO offers.  CYO helps youth develop a strong sense of community. Many of the volunteers working on the mural have said that they are proud to be part of CYO and excited to know that the mural they are creating will be enjoyed by other CYO participants for years to come. It’s a way for them to give back to their community,” said McFarland.

“Amanda’s enthusiasm and commitment to serving participants in our CYO program has been remarkable,” added Roberts. “We are fortunate that our relationship with the AmeriCorps program has made it possible. AmeriCorps is a great program that benefits both the students and the organizations that utilize AmeriCorps members.”

AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs that engages more than 50,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment.

AmeriCorps members serve through more than 2,100 nonprofits, pubic agencies, and faith-based organizations.

The Oswego County AmeriCorps Program focuses on services for children and families.

Members mentor youth, plan and supervise nutrition education and fitness activities and manage volunteers.

This year 63 members will serve at schools, libraries, recreation programs and human service agencies throughout Oswego County.

Catholic Charities of Oswego County serves all people in need regardless of their religious affiliation.

Primary funding sources for Catholic Charities of Oswego County programs are the United Way of Greater Oswego County, the Diocesan Hope Appeal, the County of Oswego, NYS Office of Children and Family Services through Oswego City/County Youth Bureau, and private donations by individuals and local companies and organizations.