In PSP news this past month, we welcomed Bora Lee as a VISTA Member with Utah Assistive Technology Program. Also, we recognized 5 VISTA Members for their achievements and dedication to service - Holli Ashcraft, ValaRee Reese, and Ashley Fluegel for our Exemplary Engagement Award, and Tanza Tupola and Abby Slade received the Determination Award and Above and Beyond Award, respectively. Holli also got engaged - congratulations!
Say hello to the first PSP Jotter of 2019! Thank you to all of the PSP VISTA members, staff, friends, family, and Utah Conservation Corps VISTA member Jenn Sapp for their work on PSP's 2019 MLK Day service project. This was one of our most successful MLK Day projects yet - we created and donated 50 fleece blankets and 75 journals!
Also, congratulations to Myia Barton for starting her second VISTA term in January. She joins Me'lani Hogan-Cephas as a PSP VISTA Leader. Finally, congratulations to VISTA member Ali Limburg (Mountain Crest High School) for winning January's Determination Award!
The final edition of the PSP Jotter for 2018 is here! We are excited to kick off a new year after having a great month in December. PSP's VISTA members volunteered with Sub for Santa again this year, one of our favorite service projects every year.
Congratulations to Jason Parker, PSP VISTA member at South Cache Middle School, for receiving PSP's Good Role Model Award for December, 2018! Finally, Elisa Martinez, former VISTA Leader with PSP, completed an incredible service term with PSP in December. Her enthusiasm and positivity will be greatly missed!
From all of us at PSP, we hope each of you enjoyed Thanksgiving and are looking forward to the upcoming holiday season. We are happy to bring you the November, 2018 edition of the PSP Jotter. Congrats to Emma Pressel, PSP VISTA at The Family Place, for winning November's Above and Beyond Award!
We are in the process of receiving feedback for our 2017-2018 VISTA program. Once we get those results, we will share them with our stakeholders. Fingers crossed for a positive evaluation!
The October, 2018 issue of the PSP Jotter is here! Congrats to Elisa Martinez (VISTA Leader at PSP) for being awarded this month’s Above and Beyond Award, and congrats to Ashley Fluegel (VISTA Member at Mountain Crest High School) for being awarded the Good Role Model Award.
In addition to the stories and information in this issue, we have some really exciting numbers to share with you from our 2017-2018 AmeriCorps VISTA Members and Summer Associates...
These numbers indicate significant impacts that were made thanks to our 2017-2018 AmeriCorps VISTA Members and Summer Associates. We are looking forward to the incredible impacts our 2018-2019 AmeriCorps VISTA team will make on communities across northern Utah!
Last school year, Public & School Partnership AmeriCorps VISTA member, Ashley Fluegel (now serving at Mountain Crest High School), envisioned a space at South Cache Middle School where students in need could pick up clean, trendy clothes that fit their growing bodies. She envisioned a no-judgment space where students felt supported and cared for. That vision has become a reality, and the "Spartan Closet" has opened its doors and is welcoming all South Cache students in need of clothing. The closet is now under the coordination of PSP AmeriCorps VISTA members Jason Parker and Abby Slade, and between last school year and this current school year, the AmeriCorps VISTA members have received over $1500 in clothing donations!
Upon being asked to share a story of the Spartan Closet with us, VISTA member Jason Parker shared a narrative of one shirt's journey...
Here is a story about a shirt. Now, this is not just any shirt; this is a special shirt. This particular shirt was given to a child just before their 6th-grade year started. All through the year, this student wore that shirt while learning at school, playing with friends, and doing all those things young people do. The shirt was worn all through the fall, winter, and spring. This student loved their shirt, and the shirt loved being worn by the student. As the end of the school year came around, the shirt began to get tighter and tighter on the student. Soon, both realized the inevitable: the student was growing, but the shirt was not. This meant that the shirt could no longer be worn by the student, and this made both parties very sad.
Throughout the summer, the shirt sat in the student's closet getting pushed back further and further. Slowly, the student began to forget about the shirt. One day, the student's mom decided it was time to go shopping for new clothes for school! After a wonderful day out trying on clothes at all the stores in town, the mother and student arrived back at home. As the student began clearing out his closet to make room for the new clothes, he grabbed his old favorite shirt. All the memories that were made when wearing this shirt flooded back. The student was happy, as was the shirt. While contemplating whether or not to try it on, just in case a miracle happened, the student's mother walked into the room. "Put that old, dingy shirt with the rest of your old clothes so we can get rid of it!" exclaimed the mother. "No use in keeping something that doesn't fit anymore," she said. This statement made the student and shirt sad again. "How could I get rid of you?" thought the student. "You're not even that dirty or old!" The student continued to stare at the shirt, almost expecting a response. When the mother turned away, the student quickly shoved the shirt back into their closet.
The beginning of the school year had finally started. The student was at a brand-new school: South Cache Middle School. He was very excited about all the possibilities that awaited him this year. A few weeks into the school year, someone who called themselves a "VISTA" was telling students that if they had any old clothes, they could donate them to the "Spartan Closet." "The Spartan Closet is just like a thrift store, but the clothes are free for students who are in need," said the VISTA. This same student didn't need any new clothes, his mom and dad were able to buy him new ones every year. "Hey, wait a minute," the student thought, "I saw another student sitting next to me who was wearing an ancient shirt that had holes everywhere! I could donate my old shirt I loved so much and maybe my classmate will get it!" Once the student arrived home, he grabbed the old shirt and shoved it in his backpack. At school the next day, the student gave his old shirt to the VISTA so it could be put in the Spartan Closet. "Thank you so much for your donation. I know a student who could use this shirt," said the VISTA.
The next day, the student walked into his class and sat down. There was the student they saw a few days earlier, but now, he was wearing the shirt! The student smiled, for the shirt looked good on its new owner, and they were happy about helping out a peer. The shirt was happy because it had found a new home. The new owner was happy because he had a shirt without holes and could now concentrate on learning.
Donations to the Spartan Closet are always being accepted. If you would like to donate to South Cache's Spartan Closet, please contact Jason Parker (email@example.com) or Abby Slade (firstname.lastname@example.org) to arrange pick up/drop off.
Happy start of the school year everyone! Attached is the September, 2018 edition of the PSP Jotter. Highlights in this issue include our start-of-service training conferences, 9/11 Day of service project, and recognition of our newest VISTA members. Shout out to our guest speakers, Teresa Hart and Kim Campbell, who presented at our quarterly training conference on September 7!
We also have two awards to announce for September! First, Ana Reyes (VISTA Member at the Logan Family Center) was awarded this month’s Determination Award. Also, Amber O’Quinn and Dakota DeWaal of Cache Makers were awarded this quarter’s Friends of PSP Award for their invaluable support to our program and AmeriCorps VISTA members. Check out page 2 of the newsletter to read more about Ana, Amber, and Dakota.
It has been a great summer of service! Highlights in this issue include our summer service project and recognition of our exiting members at the annual PSP banquet in July, as well as of Daniel Bialkowski (VISTA Member at USU Education Outreach), who recently was awarded PSP’s Exemplary Engagement Award. Utah was also recently listed as the #4 “AmeriState!”
It's never too late to share exciting news with all of you! Our May, 2018 newsletter features updates on our Summer Associate program, upcoming pancake breakfast, and post-service VISTA employment. Also, congratulations to Ashlee Flitton (The Family Place) for winning May's Outstanding Outcomes Award and to Me'lani Hogan- Cephas (VISTA Leader/ASTL) for winning her second Exemplary Engagement Award!
It's that time again - the newest edition of the PSP Jotter is here! Congrats to Megan Hansen (Mountain Crest HS) and Kaylyn Christensen (Cache HS) for winning the VISTA Member Recognition awards for April, 2018! Our National Service Recognition Day event is highlighted, and there are also some announcements for some upcoming volunteer opportunities.