Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and UNT Dallas President Bob Mong with AmeriCorps VISTAs

Dallas, Texas (October 10, 2017)-- UNT Dallas was proud to host  a reception September 27, 2017 honoring the City of Dallas’ 2016-17 and 2017-18 GrowSouth AmeriCorps VISTA teams. This is the second year UNT Dallas has hosted the VISTA team on campus. University and city officials in attendance included: Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings; UNT Dallas President Bob Mong; Raquel Favela, City of Dallas’ Chief of Economic Development and Neighborhood Services.

The mission of the Dallas Mayor’s VISTA program is to reinvigorate and inspire the neighborhoods of traditionally underserved regions of the city to build the capacity of both formal and informal neighborhood associations. Dr. Larry Terry, director of UNT Dallas’ Urban SERCH Institute, works closely with each VISTA team to provide resources and help them strategically plan events using neighborhood-driven strategies.

 “UNT Dallas is proud to partner with the City of Dallas and the GrowSouth AmeriCorps VISTA team,” Terry said. “The VISTAs engage in important community work in Southern Dallas. They play a critical role as service ambassadors for both the SERCH Institute and the Mayor’s GrowSouth Initiative.  I look forward to working with them, alongside our faculty, staff and students, as we further UNT Dallas’ mission of strengthening communities.”

The partnership among the AmeriCorps VISTAs, the City of Dallas, GrowSouth, and the UNT Dallas SERCH Institute began with an integrated vision for southern sector development. The UNT Dallas SERCH Institute provides the VISTAs with a home base on campus, and helps them develop professionally through a wide variety of monthly trainings about restorative practices and citizen engagement strategies.

For more information on the VISTAs and how to get involved in future service projects, email Larry.Terry@untdallas.edu. Photos from the reception are available at https://untd.smugmug.com/17202-Vista-Reception/.

About AmeriCorps VISTA:

VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) was founded in 1965 as a national service program to fight poverty in America. In 1993, VISTA was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network programs. VISTA has been on the front lines fighting to strengthen communities in America more than 50 years.