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Events | Health Education and Human SciencesMay 12, 2022

UAFS Jumpstart Members Provide Services to Local Community Organizations

Written By: Samantha Contreras

In honor of National Volunteer Week Jumpstart AmeriCorps members at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith participated in service projects across the city of Fort Smith.
Service members joined forces with the UAFS LionHeart organization’s Community Outreach Day, with members cleaning and organizing at the Western Arkansas Literacy Council; power washing, sweeping, and scrubbing outdoor equipment, walkways and play spaces at the Ronald McDonald House, and cleaning the childcare rooms of the Fort Smith Crisis Intervention Center. A few members even planted a vegetable garden to provide a tranquil place for children to learn and play. 
“America is a country built on service,” said Kimberly Taylor, Jumpstart coordinator. “It was an honor to help ensure families in crisis have a clean space to rest and recuperate outdoors.”
“Being a UAFS student means that I am a part of a great community,” said Yesica Perez, freshman graphic design major and Jumpstart member. “This program made me step out of my comfort box and meet tons of new people.”
UAFS is the first university in Arkansas to offer Jumpstart, an AmeriCorps national service program with members working with local preschool students to enhance their language, literacy, and social-emotional skills.
Yesenia Ocampo, a sophomore Criminal Justice major and Jumpstart member, said "this program has given me more opportunities and resources from the real world and on campus to help me become better prepared for obstacles I might encounter in my career.”
The program is currently seeking candidates to participate in their summer program, during which members will serve Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at local preschools from May 30-July 28.  In exchange for service, members will receive a $500 living allowance in both June and July. Upon completion of the 300-hour service commitment, members will earn a $1,342 scholarship. Email for more information.