Written by: John DeRousie, Custom Marketing Solutions
FULTON, NY – Stacie Roberts, coordinator of the CYO program at Catholic Charities of Oswego County, has announced that AmeriCorps member, Amanda McFarland has joined the staff of Catholic Charities’ CYO program.
A freshman at SUNY Oswego, McFarland is pursuing a degree in Childhood Education, Grades 1 through 6. She became aware of AmeriCorps while volunteering as a mentor in the CYO Mentoring Program. “Stacie suggested AmeriCorps to me and said that she was looking for someone to assist her with the CYO program. I really enjoyed working with kids in the mentoring program and thought it would be a great opportunity to gain some hands on experience and discover the benefits of AmeriCorps,” explained McFarland.
Once becoming involved with AmeriCorps McFarland realized that it was the right decision. “I always enjoyed working with young people,” said McFarland. “When I was in high school I volunteered as a mentor at New Haven Elementary School and realized how much I enjoyed teaching them and knowing that I can make a difference in their lives by helping them experience new things. AmeriCorps has given me the opportunity to be involved with the Catholic Charities’ CYO Program and work both one on one and in group settings with children in the age group that I plan be working with in the future. My experience as an AmeriCorps member gives me some practical experience to augment my Childhood Development studies. I will be able to draw upon these experiences in the future.”
McFarland added that Catholic Charities’ CYO Program is an excellent resource for youth. “The youth that visit CYO are happy to be able to participate in the wide variety of activities CYO offers. It gives them a place to go after school where they can be with their peers and make new friends and Stacie makes sure that it is always a safe and inviting environment,” said McFarland. “It’s a pleasure to have Amanda on our staff,” said Roberts. “She enjoys what she does and truly cares about making sure that the children enjoy their time at CYO. Amanda was an excellent mentor and I am happy to be able to have her as a staff member. 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.
As a part of the Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps is working together to build a culture of citizenship, service and responsibility in America.
The main goals of AmeriCorps are:
- Getting things done and solving local issues
- Strengthening society and uniting individuals
- Encouraging responsibility
- Expanding opportunities by gaining valuable experiences, specialized training, and other important life skills.
AmeriCorps’ focus on services for children is a perfect fit for Catholic Charities’ CYO Summer Program that provides recreational and educational opportunities to dozens of children in our community.
Kathy Andolina, program coordinator of AmeriCorps in Oswego County, is pleased to have Amanda working with the CYO Summer Program and recognizes the important impact that AmeriCorps has on Oswego County.
“For the past 15 years AmeriCorps members have provided a range of services for youth and families in Oswego County,” said Andolina. “It is a mutually rewarding experience as local agencies that serve youth benefit from having additional staff while AmeriCorps members benefit by receiving valuable experience and an education award that can be used to continue their education or pay off student loans.”
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, and private donations by individuals, local companies, and organizations.