Libby Lemson, formerly of Grand Haven, Michigan has recently moved to Muskegon and taken the oath to serve three hundred sixty five days as a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) at the United Way of the Lakeshore as the Youth Service Coordinator for Muskegon County. The VISTA program was created in 1964 as part of the War on Poverty. In 2009, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act was landmark legislation to expand VISTA. Today, it has 8,000 volunteer members who serve full-time in year-long service. Three of the VISTA priority focus areas align with the priorities on education, health, and economic opportunity as set forth by the United Way of the Lakeshore.
Christine Robere, President & CEO, United Way of the Lakeshore says, “We are fortunate to have Libby Lemson as a dedicated VISTA. In her role, Libby will help United Way of the Lakeshore to engage all citizens—especially our youth--in our work to build thriving communities.”
Libby will be serving as a member of VISTA through June 2017. While in active service, she will work specifically with Youth United and convene groups of middle and high school students throughout the county to learn of social concerns in the community, brainstorm ways to address those concerns, and plan projects that make a positive impact on those concerns. Libby said that she is excited about working as a VISTA with the youth of our communities and with Youth United to help them serve in their communities.
Youth United engaged nearly 300 middle and high school youth from nearly every school district in the county. The youth service group plans and conducts three major service projects that assist working families during theschool year. Last year’s projects served the local families by providing food, offering a “family date night,” and gathering for a community picnic.
Building off the United Way’s success with youth service in 2016, Libby will work under the guidance of Kristina Coby, Director of Community Engagement, United Way of the Lakeshore. Kristina says, “Our area youth are responding to the call to serve here in our neighborhoods. They deserve staff that is dedicated to helping them connect where they are needed most in our community and Libby is a perfect fit for them.”
Libby will convene bi-weekly meetings throughout the calendar year so that Youth United members can plan service projects and prepare students to participate in summer service activities. To learn more about youth involvement in community service and service learning, please contact Libby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 231-332-4006.