As the Board Chair of Notre Dame Mission volunteers, NDMVA, I traveled to New Orleans (otherwise known as NOLA) to visit with site director Jessica McKeown and her 14 members who are working in schools. Notre Dame Mission Volunteers AmeriCorps Program, founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in 1992, has been placing volunteers at sites nationwide to work alongside urban and especially the economically disadvantaged. The volunteers accomplish this mission by promoting literacy and education.
AmeriCorps is a federally-funded service program, commonly referred to as the domestic Peace Corps, that brings together citizens of diverse backgrounds to serve communities in the areas of education, public safety, human needs and the environment.
How impressed I am with our program, and also with these four schools who are working on a turnaround. In this photo Jess is on the left and the three young women are working as assistant math teachers, special ed and reading coaches as well as running an English class part time.
In the next photo that’s me, with a couple of goats and the Principal, Mark, of one of the elementary and middle schools I visited where they have a sustainable farming project going very well! Students even grow and sell produce with the help of teachers and farmers at local framers markets.
The partnership between NDMV and AmeriCorps has been going for eighteen plus years and our site partners like the four schools I visited have had such a good experience that they have hired many of our members. Good for everyone!