AmeriCorps VISTA fellows prepare for new assignments

June 18, 2014 11:00 AM

Alicia Duplessis Jasmin

A new group of AmeriCorps Vista fellows with Tulane University are preparing to begin their assignments this summer at nonprofit organizations around New Orleans. For Alexandra Ehrhardt, a recent Tulane graduate from Troy, Ill., the opportunity will be used to finish a mission she started this spring.

“I worked with the APEX Youth Center this past semester while enrolled in the Introduction to Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship course,” says Ehrhardt, who graduated in May with a degree in cell and molecular biology and returns to APEX as a fellow. “My service-learning time there changed my life and I knew that the organization could use my help.”

The APEX Youth Center provides activities, mentoring and tutoring to children, teens and young adults in a “positive, supervised and structured atmosphere.” Many of the center’s members are from underprivileged communities.

Spending just a few hours per week at the center as a Tulane student wasn’t enough to fulfill her desire to really get to know the children she was helping.

“I want to get to know the members of the youth center and learn their stories,” says Ehrhardt. “Each person who walks through the doors of the center brings a unique perspective of New Orleans that I don’t know, but would like to learn about.”

AmeriCorps VISTA fellows are supported through the AmeriCorps Fellows program in the Tulane Center for Public Service. Fellows are placed in local nonprofits that specialize in poverty eradication and that have a relationship with the university.

Eight new fellows begin their one-year appointments on July 14.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000