North Central Community Action Program’s (NCCAP) mission is to act as an advocate, provider, and facilitator of programs and services for low-income individuals in Lincoln, Marathon and Wood counties. NCCAP seeks to create opportunities for people and communities to obtain skills, identify and utilize resources and explore innovative options necessary to reduce poverty and increase self-sufficiency. One unique way that we serve families is through our AmeriCorps Team in the greater Wausau area.
AmeriCorps members are currently serving at seven local host sites through the NCCAP AmeriCorps Team – Greater Wausau Area program. AmeriCorps members focus on the educational and social success of students and youth from economically disadvantaged backgrounds through tutoring and mentoring activities during school and in afterschool programs. Host sites, including the Wausau School District, the Department of Public Instruction, the Girl Scouts, the YMCA, Storefront Learning Center, the Neighbors’ Place and the Boys & Girls Club, sponsor the members and provide a local match. Along with a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service – Serve Wisconsin, the total investment is worth a bit more than $500,000 annually. The majority of this investment is used to provide a living stipend, an education award and member support to the members who serve.
Since the program began, over 2,000 youth will have benefitted from AmeriCorps members’ tutoring and mentoring. Though the students benefit the most from the individual and small group attention the AmeriCorps members bring to the sites they serve, the members themselves report great gains as they improve their professional skills and gain valuable experience in their careers. The sites benefit significantly from the ability to reach more youth with the help of the grant, as well as from the opportunity and collective impact offered by AmeriCorp members to grow, develop and mature. The community at-large is also a beneficiary of the AmeriCorps program efforts as members engage in community service activities throughout the year. A minimum of 2% of a member’s service is required to be contributed as community service through a variety of projects and activities such as food drives, community dinners, litter sweeps and a number of youth serving community activities such as Chalk Fest, assisting with Fun Runs, and afterschool family programs.
Trainings are offered throughout the year, which help members develop professionally and build a sense of identity and belonging in their community and the sites being served. At the end of their year of service, members consistently report a greater sense of worth, value and impact after having served. Many go on to graduate school and continue to serve through careers and opportunities that make a difference in the lives of people in their communities.
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North Central Community Action Program