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VISTA Partner Sites

OneStar VISTA members are placed at a diverse range of nonprofits and government agencies throughout the state of Texas to address a variety of needs. Here are a few of our partners that are effectively leveraging the support of VISTA to further their efforts to fight poverty.


Alliance of Community Assistance Ministries

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 2 (1)

Location: Houston

Focus Areas: Economic Opportunity; Healthy Futures; Disaster Services

Description: The Alliance for Community Assistance Ministries (ACAM) seeks to advance high impact collaboration, service excellence and organizational development among community assistance ministries. The VISTA will assist in managing ACAM’s donor contact systems and establish ways to cultivate funder partners, such as conduct research related to available grants, specific funders, donation management tools and event formats.

Program Contact: Sharon Zachary (sharon@acamweb.org)


Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at The University of Texas – Austin

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 2 (2)

Location: Austin

Focus Areas: Education

Description: The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life (www.annettestrauss.org) at The University of Texas at Austin envisions a democracy where all citizens are informed, vote, and are actively involved in improving their communities. Through nonpartisan research, education, and outreach, the Institute seeks to understand and overcome obstacles to civic engagement. The Education Outreach VISTA will help build the capacity of the Annette Strauss Institute’s youth action civics initiative, Speak Up! Speak Out! (SUSO).

Program Contact: Heaher Vaughn (Heather.Vaughn@austin.utexas.edu)


Austin YMBL Sunshine Camps

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 1 (1)

Location: Austin

Focus Areas: Education

Description: Austin YMBL Sunshine Camps (ASC) works to engage and empower youth through education and outdoor experiences. ASC provides opportunities for youth ages 7-15 in Central Texas through week-long residential summer camps at Zilker Park and Lake Travis and through the Sunshine 4 Afterschool program, serving Austin ISD middle school students during the school year. The Volunteer and Community Outreach VISTA will develop processes and systems for volunteer coordination and community outreach. Additionally, VISTA Summer Associates will serve as Summer Camp counselors to help fight summer learning loss.

Program Contact: Megan Grayless (megan@sunshinecamps.org)


Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 6 (5)

Location: Houston

Focus Areas: Education

Description: The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation (BBHLF) mission is to improve the quality of life of Houstonians across all age groups through the power of literacy. The Volunteer Management VISTAs, the Communication VISTA, the Development VISTA and Technology VISTA collaborate to support and carryout the Blueprint for Action to address the literacy crisis in Houston.

Program Contact: José Calvillo (jose@bushhoustonliteracy.org)


Bexar County PEARLS Court

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 1 (1)

Location: San Antonio

Focus Areas: Education

Description:   The mission of PEARLS Court is to invest in females ages 14 to 18 who have been placed in foster care. Overseen by Judges Rosie Alvardo and Angélica Jimenez, PEARLS (Preparation, Esteem, Achievement. Resiliency, Learning, Strength, and Stamina) Court provides therapeutic care and case management, life skills training, and mentoring to support them through aging out of the foster care system. The VISTA member will develop life skill resources to enhance the knowledge and resiliency skills of aging out foster youth and coordinate with community partners to create a life-skills curriculum that is tailored to meet the needs of each individual participant.

Program Contact: Kimberlee Morrison (pearls1@bexar.org)


Bridges of Hope: The Community Coalition

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 1 (1)

Location: Beaumont

Focus Areas: Education; Economic Opportunity

Description:  Bridges of Hope builds relationships, forms partnerships, encourages empowerment and transforms the community by working with Southeast Texas churches, organizations and volunteers to walk alongside women as they develop to their fullest potential. The Fund Development VISTA builds organizational capacity to fight poverty by developing donor relationships and creating a fund development plan to support the sustainability of the organization.

Program Contact: Laura Bracken (laurabtcc@gmail.com)


Center for Nonprofits and Philanthropy – Texas A&M

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 1 (0)

Location: College Station

Focus Areas: Economic Opportunity, Healthy Futures

Description:  The Center for Nonprofits and Philanthropy at Texas A&M’s Bush School of Government and Public Service seeks to improve the effectiveness of nonprofit and philanthropic organizations in Texas and beyond through engaged learning, high-quality research, and professional outreach. The Center currently focuses on the state of Texas and prioritizes underserved areas, especially local organizations through the Brazos Valley Initiative (BVI), a collection of serves twenty-seven organizations dedicated to helping low income individuals in the region. The Center for Nonprofits & Philanthropy Outreach VISTA will build the capacity of nonprofits in the community to increase the number of impoverished individuals served.

Program Contact: Dr. Kenneth Taylor (kataylor@tamu.edu)


Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 1 (1)

Location: Sinton

Focus Areas: Disaster Services

Description:  The Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group (CBDRG) is a state recognized long-term recovery nonprofit organization created to address the unmet needs of Coastal Bend area residents affected by disaster. CBDRG covers 11 counties in south Texas near Corpus Christi, with Hurricane Harvey Recovery efforts focused in Aransas, Bee, Kleberg, Nueces, Refugio, and San Patricio Counties. VISTA members will serve with CBDRG to help develop systems and processes to allow the organization to better manage volunteers and donations.

Program Contact: Warren Phipps (wphipps.cbdrg@gmail.com)


Communities in Schools of Central Texas

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 1 (1)

Location: Austin

Focus Areas: Education

Description: Communities In Schools of Central Texas (CIS), is a local affiliate of a national nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering students to stay in school and achieve in life. The Alumni Network VISTA will serve to help young people who grew up in poverty and received services from CIS be successful in college and career by providing additional supports after graduation through an alumni program.

Program Contact: Debra Joiner (djoiner@ciscentraltexas.org)


Communities in Schools of North Texas

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 2 (2)

Location: Lewisville

Focus Areas: Education

Description: The goal of Communities In Schools of North Texas is to surround students with a community of support empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. In an effort to help at-risk students overcome barriers and achieve their goals, CISNT believes that every child deserves five basic things, which serve as the foundation of all CISNT programs and services: a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult, a safe place to learn and grow, a healthy start and a healthy future, a marketable skill to use upon graduation, and a chance to give back to peers and community. The Volunteer Management VISTAs will seek to develop organizational stability through increased community engagement and volunteerism and increased support.

Program Contact: Amber Shattuck (ashattuck@cisnt.org)


Dallas Zoo

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 1 (1)

Location: Dallas

Focus Areas: Environmental Stewardship; Education

Description: The Dallas Zoo's Education Department works to connect children and families to incredible wildlife resources unique to the Zoo. Within the Education Department, the Youth Volunteer Community Outreach VISTA will provide low-income youth with rewarding, affordable, educational, engaging volunteer opportunities to serve the Dallas community in a safe, supervised environment.

Program Contact: Courtney Jonescu (Courtney.Jonescu@dallaszoo.com)


Family Eldercare

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 1 (0)

Location: Austin

Focus Areas: Economic Opportunity

Description:  Founded in 1982, Family Eldercare is a multi-services organization for older adults and adults with disabilities. The Housing Needs for Older Adults VISTA project will build organizational capacity to expand and enhance homeless/housing focused services for that target population. The VISTA member will work closely with program leadership and social workers to build infrastructure, develop curriculum, and improve data systems and processes. These activities will strengthen community engagement and improve service delivery for older adults and adults with disabilities at-risk or experiencing homelessness.

Program Contact: Claire Rheaume (CRheaume@familyeldercare.org)


Galveston County Long Term Recovery Group

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 2 (2)

Location: Texas City

Focus Areas: Disaster Services

Description:  Galveston County Long Term Recovery Group (GCLTRG) is a collaborative coalition made up of representatives from non-profit, faith-based, civic organizations and government and business partners established to conduct a coordinated response to Hurricane Harvey disaster recovery. VISTA members will serve with GCLTRG to help develop systems and processes to improve communication tools and secure long term funding.

Program Contact: Gary Scoggin (gary@scoggin.com)


Generation Citizen

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 2 (1)

Location: Austin

Focus Areas: Education

Description: Generation Citizen (GCTX) works to ensure that every student in the United States receives an effective action civics education, which provides them with the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in our democracy as active citizens.​The Community Ambassador VISTA will build the capacity of GCTX site to ensure that the organization’s work is firmly grounded in the community it serves. The VISTA will serve as a liaison to volunteers and partner organizations, helping to grow a network for action civics education.

Program Contact: Meredith Norris (mnorris@generationcitizen.org)


Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 2 (0)

Location: Dallas

Focus Areas: Education

Description: Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas (GSNETX) was founded over one hundred years ago and serves 25,000 girls in the North Texas region. With the help of the AmeriCorps*Texas grant, GSNETX launched a pilot program called Girl Scout Academy to connect Girls Scouts to schools and communities. The VISTAs will help the program expand and specifically focus on low income, non-English, and Latinx communities in the Dallas area which will fall into the Title 1 classification.  The VISTAS will assist with program partner recruitment, developing onboarding systems, and developing trainings for teacher/volunteers in curriculum. They will also ensure program quality and utilization of curriculum standards through an on-site monitoring system to be established.

Program Contact: Eboni Chopp (echopp@gsnetx.org)


Grace After Fire

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 1 (1)

Location: Houston

Focus Areas: Veterans and Military Families

Description:  Grace After Fire is dedicated to helping women veterans help themselves by providing the means to gain knowledge, insight and self-renewal as they re-enter back into their communities, the workforce and in their homes. A VISTA member will help with program expansion and veteran outreach by developing a plan and financial roadmap that will help the organization expand their long-term community impact.

Program Contact: Mea Williams (mea@graceafterfire.org)


Harris County Department of Education: CASE for Kids

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 4 (3)

Location: Houston

Focus Areas: Education

Description: Harris County Department of Education’s Center for Afterschool, Summer and Expanded Learning (CASE for Kids), is a division dedicated to supporting high quality out of school time (OST) programming to over 7,000 students each year. CASE for Kids’ 4 VISTAs (Community Engagement VISTA, Social Emotional Learning VISTA, School Readiness VISTA, and Sustainability) help communities by building collaborative partnerships to support at-risk students and their families and educate elected officials, foundations and businesses on the importance of sustaining effective programs.

Program Contact: Trina Finley (TFinley@hcde-texas.org)


Houston Community Toolbank

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 2 (2)

Location: Houston

Focus Areas: Economic Opportunity

Description:  The Houston Community ToolBank serves community-based organizations by providing tools, equipment and expertise to empower their goals. Over the past three years, the Houston Community ToolBank has equipped 144,000 volunteers to complete over 9,802 projects in and around Houston. Currently, they are heavily focused on lending for Hurricane Harvey Recovery efforts, with roughly two thirds of tools going out to disaster recovery projects. Their current VISTAs focus on communication and outreach and improving their data management and tracking systems.

Program Contact: Erika Hornsey (erika.hornsey@toolbank.org)


iEducate

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 3 (2)

Location: Houston

Focus Areas: Education

Description: iEducate aims to improve student achievement in underserved communities by engaging college students within the classroom model. iEducate is building a year-round model for school districts to engage youth to close achievement gaps at a foundational level. iEducate will utilize VISTA members to develop the tools and processes for program operations, partnerships and technology that will allow iEducate to further improve education equity for students in low-income communities within the Greater Houston area and build this foundation for future growth.

Program Contact: Arun Gir (arun@ieducateusa.org)


Imagine Art

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 2 (2)

Location: Austin

Focus Areas: Economic Opportunity

Description: Imagine Art is a faith-based organization that has established a space where both artists with and without disabilities thrive. Imagine Art offers specialized supports tailored to empower artists with disabilities to create art.  Non-disabled players engage as working artists in our studios to create a diverse, inclusive space. The Long Term Care VISTAs will seek to design and establish innovative programming of long-term care residential services for Imagine Art’s community.

Program Contact: Debbie Kizer (debbie@imagineart.net)


The Landing

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 1 (0)

Location: Houston

Focus Areas: Economic Opportunity

Description: The Landing serves survivors of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation with a trauma informed approach and fulfill their mission by identifying victims, empowering survivors, engaging communities and influencing culture.  When the program launched in 2016, they served 69 survivors and had 112 drop in visits. In the last few years, The Landing has grown to now serve over 400 clients, provide over 16,000 services, and see an average of 10-12 survivors per day. The VISTA is helping the organization create a fundraising and development plan and a social media strategy to help sustain this growth and continue to serve more survivors.

Program Contact: Natasha Paradeshi (natasha@thelanding.org)


National Alliance on Mental Illness – Austin (NAMI)

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed):1 (1)

Location: Austin

Focus Areas: Healthy Futures

Description: NAMI is the largest grassroots organization dedicated to building better lives for millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI offers no-cost classes and support group programs for people affected by mental illness and their loved ones as well as education and training for schools, workplaces, faith communities and neighborhoods. With more than nine education programs— including support groups, community meetings, and other outreach—NAMI Austin is a vital resource for individuals and families when they need a place to turn. The Donor and Volunteer Relations VISTA will seek to develop a more intentional volunteer program and identify and implement donor and volunteer data management programs.

Program Contact: Karen Ranus (karen.ranus@namiaustin.org)


NextOp

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 1 (1)

Location: Houston

Focus Areas: Veterans and Military Families

Description: NextOp recruits, trains, and places high-performing middle-enlisted military leaders into energy, construction and healthcare careers. NextOp seeks to recruit the next generation of veteran business leaders and help make Houston the best city in the world for veterans. NextOp’s Veterans Employment VISTA will improve partnership processes and boost community outreach efforts to recruit more high-performing middle-enlisted military leaders.

Program Contact: Mia Garcia (Mia@nextopvets.org)


OneStar Foundation

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 2 (2)

Location: Austin – Statewide

Focus Areas: Capacity Building

Description: OneStar promotes the nonprofit sector and innovative public-private partnerships to drive community solutions. OneStar’s VISTA Intermediary Project will also have two VISTA Leaders to help support OneStar’s VISTAs serving throughout Texas.

Program Contact: Glenn Goodrich (glenn@onestarfoundation.org); 


Orange County Disaster Rebuild

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 1 (1)

Location: Orange

Focus Areas: Disaster Services

Description: Orange County Disaster Rebuild’s mission is to assist individuals and families who have unmet needs with recovery from any natural or man-made disasters, focusing on providing additional long-term assistance to the most vulnerable population low income, elderly, disabled, single parents. The Volunteer Management VISTA will serve with the Orange County Disaster Long Term Recovery team to create sustainable volunteer recruitment and coordination strategies.

Program Contact: Michelle Tubbleville (mtubbleville@co.orange.tx.us); 


Southwest Key Programs – East Austin Children's Promise

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 1 (1)

Location: Austin

Focus Areas: Education

Description: The Southwest Key Programs mission is Opening doors to opportunity so individuals can achieve their dreams. A national, nonprofit organization, Southwest Key is committed to keeping kids out of institutions and home with their families through three areas of programming: youth justice alternatives, immigrant children's shelters, and education. The College Completion Support VISTA will create a community of support for college students by conducting needs assessment to better understand what college related information should be delivered throughout the year. 

Program Contact: Joycelyn Jurado (JJurado@swkey.org)


Team Rubicon

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 1(1)

Location: Houston

Focus Areas: Disaster Services

Description:  Team Rubicon’s primary mission is providing disaster relief to those affected by natural disasters, be they domestic or international. By pairing the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders, medical professionals, and technology solutions, Team Rubicon aims to provide the greatest service and impact possible. Team Rubicon’s VISTAs will develop procedures and processes, support documentation, and technical necessities to build local level resources to appropriately and proficiently deliver disaster recovery assistance and have a more consistent presence in the community during non-disaster times.

Program Contact: Heather Hyslop (hyslop@teamrubiconusa.org)


Trinity River Mission

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 1 (0)

Location: Dallas

Focus Areas: Education, Healthy Futures

Description: Trinity River Mission (TRM) provides educational and social opportunities that inspire students and their families to dream, believe, and achieve. Students receive academic, personal, and social-emotional support to help them imagine broader possibilities for their future to try to end the cycle of generational poverty in West Dallas. The VISTA will focus on increasing TRM’s presence in the community and will work as an outreach strategist, event coordinator, storyteller, and liaison to donors. TRM plans to expand its capacity to from serving K-12 to Pre-K through the second year of post-secondary education within the next year.

Program Contact: Cari Katts (ckristoff@trinityrivermission.org)


Urban Roots

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 1 (1)

Location: Austin

Focus Areas: Economic Opportunity; Healthy Futures

Description: Urban Roots is a youth development organization that uses food and farming to transform the lives of young people and inspire, engage, and nourish the community. The Food and Leadership Program VISTA will help build Urban Roots’ new college-aged Food & Leadership Fellowship program from the ground up. Fellows will lead volunteers on the farm, build life and job skills, explore food justice, and learn to mentor high school aged Urban Roots youth.

Program Contact: Ian Hunter-Crawford (ian@urbanrootsatx.org)


Wharton County Recovery Team

VISTAs Awarded (Current VISTAs Placed): 1 (1)

Location: Wharton

Focus Areas: Disaster Services

Description: The Wharton County Recovery Team is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that assists low income, uninsured, under-insured individuals, and families with recovery from natural or man-made disasters. The organization takes an active role in coordinating boots on the ground in every step of the disaster response process managing the chaos of the flood of volunteers and donations in the immediate wake of a crisis, coordinating rebuilding efforts as the community attempts to return to a state of normalcy, and helping to develop new affordable housing and aid in mitigation and disaster preparedness efforts to help lessen the impact of the next natural disaster. The VISTA serves with the organization to help develop systems and processes to secure long-term funding.

Program Contact: Carol Wootton (carol.wootton@yahoo.com)