WSCC AmeriCorps College Guides Visited with the Marietta Noon Lions Club

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Dee Standish, with WSCC's Outreach program, asked two of Washington State's AmeriCorps guides, Audrey Hayes and Michael LaTorre, to speak with Lions Club about their work on campus. "The mission of Outreach is college, career and technical access for students in Meigs, Morgan, Noble and Washington counties," says Standish. "AmeriCorps College Guides on campus help assist in access for those students."

AmeriCorps is a widespread U.S. federal government program, created under President Bill Clinton with the 1993 National and Community Service Trust Act, and later expanded under President George W. Bush. AmeriCorps volunteers' work ranges from public education to the environment. Audrey Hayes and Michael LaTorre's work focuses on public higher education.

WSCC President Dr. Bradley Ebersole comments on the AmeriCorps program's presence at the College, "Washington State is so fortunate to have these high quality individuals helping the college serve students. Each one of these individuals is a great role model for the students they advise. The AmeriCorps program is truly an asset for us."

Audrey Hayes came to Washington State as a part of AmeriCorps in August 2011 and Michael LaTorre started in 2010. They spoke at the luncheon about what AmeriCorps is, their roles on campus, and the different service days that benefit the community.

"Talking with the Marietta Noon Lions Club was an amazing experience because I was able to spread the word of AmeriCorps," says Hayes. "It also gave us the opportunity to network with Lions members and possibly work together in the future. Our organizations share similar goals, such as serving our community; it was great for the Lions Club to hear about AmeriCorps and the roles we provide."

LaTorre adds that it was a great personal experience too, since the local Lions Club helped him in the past with access to eye glasses – a special mission of Lions Club. "Speaking with (Marietta Noon Lions) members about my AmeriCorps service over the past year and a half was a particularly great experience for me because they provided me with assistance to obtain prescription eye glasses last year, as they do for so many people in the local community," notes LaTorre.

Marietta Noon Lions member Stephanie Wiles attended the luncheon, and says she was surprised to learn about the type of work AmeriCorps performs at Washington State. "I previously thought AmeriCorps just did volunteering with community-type events, but I learned about all the work they do with the College, and helping local students have access to higher education," shares Wiles.

There are six total AmeriCorps members currently working with Washington State, with five at the campus in Marietta and one at the Morgan County Learning Center.

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