By Marah Holland, AmeriCorps VISTA - Healthy People, Washington County DHHS
From Washington County, Rhode Island to Washington County, Oregon, this year with the AmeriCorps VISTA/OHA Partnership Program has brought many positive personal and professional opportunities for me. I started serving in April 2013 at my site, Washington County Public Health, with the purpose of offering technical assistance to non-profits and school districts to develop worksite wellness programs for their employees.
I am excited to say that although progress has been slower than I anticipated, I have seen many projects flourish in the time I have been here. One project that I have been working on is capacity building for our on-site farmers’ market. Some accomplishments include increased awareness of the market, development of product specific advertising, establishment of a graphic design and website dedicated to the market, creation of a farmers’ market manual and application for vendors, and establishing the market as a resource for the Washington County Wellness Program.
A community project that I am excited about is the beginning of a wellness program at a partner non-profit, Adelante Mujeres. This organization is based in Forest Grove, Oregon,
and works to educate and empower low-income Latina women and their families. They provide Latina women and their families with the tools to achieve self-determination in the areas of education and enterprise. I am hopeful that this program will eventually trickle down into the community to create a more cohesive, healthy, productive society.
Hopefully my last few months with the VISTA/OHA program will bring many more exciting project updates!
Next: Expanding services in Central Oregon
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