Volunteer Opportunity

Youth Engagement Facilitator - AmeriCorps VISTA

Posted by
Published 3 months ago

Effective Dates: 6/7/2021 – 6/6/2022

Sponsoring Organization: Arizona Food Bank Network

Site Location: Orchard Community Learning Center: 911 W Baseline Rd, Phoenix; Lassen Elementary School, 909 W. Vineyard Rd. Phoenix, and Spaces of Opportunity, 1200 W. Vineyard Rd. Phoenix 85041

Primary Focus Area: Food Security – Healthy Futures

Position Description

If you are passionate about working with young people to address injustices in the food system and barriers to healthy eating, and have enthusiasm for and experience training and educating youth, then this position is one for you!

With the knowledge that we possess, no person should be without the education and inquiry skills needed to “read” the world around them and raise critical questions which suggest action in support of personal, community, and planetary wellness. Why are people in our neighborhoods hungry? Why are families of oppressed nationalities disproportionately affected by chronic illnesses and now COVID? The Arizona Food Bank Network’s(AzFBN’s) vision of a hunger free AZ is entirely possible if we provide our youth with the education needed to eliminate the causes of the problem.

With this in mind, the Orchard Community Learning Center (OCLC) is working with youth K-16* students to build the capacity of the next generation to critically analyze the systems around them; both those elements that support wellness and those that clearly do not. To further this work, the OCLC is recruiting an AmeriCorps VISTA to develop, coordinate, and implement service learning projects with youth utilizing specific tools of action research designed not only teach critical thought and analysis, but lead to youth-led responses to effect change and build capacity in the work. The VISTA will work with Orchard & school staff to oversee the training and implementation of the following:

1)    Guide youth in the development of projects at Lassen Elementary School for on-site and at the Spaces of Opportunity urban farm (food & pollinator gardens), coordinate youth engagement in the “Healthy Roots Project” (a new, whole foods grocery and deli run by youth at the school and the Spaces Farmers Market), and a cafeteria food waste diversion/composting project.

2)    The use of technology and data collected by youth as tools for critical analysis and action based responses to injustices and/or school & community needs.

3)    Use of social media and communication tools to broaden the impact and increase capacity in recruiting supporters to the Orchard’s family.

* The Orchard’s work for this project is housed in a K-8 public school setting, while also recruiting high school and college students to internship opportunities.

To find out more about serving with AmeriCorps VISTA, please visit the following webpage:


•      Collaborate with OCLC leadership and the Lassen School Culinary/Earth Skills teacher working with K-8 students and their teachers. Coach and train youth participants participating in the operation of the grocery/deli, farmers’ market booth, school/Spaces gardens, and/or facilitate cross-age teaching during the school day.

•      Coach youth in the protocols of Photovoice and/or Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) as a tool to document their work and as a lens to identify and address critical questions related to the environment and personal wellness that contribute to food insecurity.

•      Serve as mentor to youth to identify a specific problem or problems for which they determine an action or actions to address the issue. (i.e. a policy change at the school or district level, a new program, curriculum change, cafeteria food practice, etc.)

•      Prepare material (text/photos/student stories) weekly from each component for use in the Orchard’s social media platforms and newsletter.

•      Work with Orchard staff during summer and school intersession periods when there are program breaks to build capacity through fund development. This could include grant writing, preparation of materials and communications to our base, and outreach to groups/individuals outside of our current base.

Key Skills, Knowledge, Abilities, & Qualifications

•      College degree, or relevant experience in place of degree

•      Prior experience training and educating others

•      Strong initiative and ability to work with limited supervision

•      Ability to effectively facilitate educational trainings and workshops for and with youth

•      Excellent verbal and written communication skills; bilingual in Spanish a plus

•      Ability to collaborate with diverse audiences, understand challenges, problem solve, and develop effective solutions

•      Knowledge and understanding, or willingness to learn, of the issues that people of oppressed nationalities experience in Arizona

•      Strong organizational skills

•      Passion for combating hunger at the level of root causes

•      Must be able to include Saturdays in the work schedule

Benefits for VISTA Members

•      Living stipend to cover the basic costs of living (find out more at

•      Choice of Education Award or End of Service Stipend upon successful completion of service

•      10 personal and 10 sick days

•      Health coverage at no-cost

•      Relocation allowance

•      Student loan forbearance and deferment

•      Childcare assistance if eligible

•      Professional development training

•      One year of non-competitive eligibility for federal government positions upon completion of service

AmeriCorps Eligibility Requirements

•      Must be 18 years of age

•      US citizen, national, or legal resident

•      Successfully complete a criminal background check

•      Valid driver’s license

How to Apply

•      Please send resumes to:

•      Apply through the MyAmeriCorps Portal:

Effective Dates: 6/7/2021 – 6/6/2022

Sponsoring Organization: Arizona Food Bank Network

Site Location: Orchard Community Learning Center: 911 W Baseline Rd, Phoenix; Lassen Elementary School, 909 W. Vineyard Rd. Phoenix, and Spaces of Opportunity…

Details at a Glance

  • Schedule
  • Time Commitment
    Full time (30+ hrs/wk)
  • Recurrence



Orchard Community Learning Center

Phoenix, AZ, USA

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