Linfield gains new VISTA coordinator
Linfield’s new VISTA Student Engagement Coordinator hopes to engage students in community service, owning a tree farm, and above all else, serve the local community.
Alexis Powell, who is now serving her second term with AmeriCorps, chose to work at Linfield because it allowed her to connect people with the local community.
“I chose Linfield to gain experience, to serve and to connect people. Really, to connect people,” she said
Powell served her first term with AmeriCorps at the Yamhill Community Action Partnership as the Homeless and Community Outreach Coordinator.
During her time at YCAP, Powell worked with homeless and low-income individuals by running the Thanksgiving and holiday programs, coordinating the annual homeless count and teaching gardening at a YCAP shelter.
Powell chose YCAP because she wanted to continue serving in Yamhill County. After graduating from George Fox University in Newberg, Powell opted to stay in Yamhill County so that she could continue to serve the community that she had already served for four years.
At Linfield, Powell primarily works with five students who are part of a new leadership program called Change Corps. Change Corps works through the office of Community Engagement and Service to organize service projects in the community to promote student involvement in service.
During her stay at Linfield, Powell hopes to connect students to service opportunities that are happening in the community. She says she hopes to provide students with projects that connect what they are learning in the classroom with community service.
“I’m really interested in higher education and so I thought I would be able to use some of my connections I made last year and continue serving and strengthening those partnerships right here in Yamhill County,” she said. “I just think service learning is an invaluable experience for college students.”
Powell is unsure of what she wants to do once she completes her term at Linfield. She says that she hopes to attend grad school, but she is unsure of what she wants to study.
“I still want to go to grad school, I’m just not sure what I want to go for,” she said. “I don’t have a clear ‘this is what I want to be when I grow up.’”
In addition to grad school, she says that she hopes to one day own a tree farm.
“Last year when I was running holiday programs, I realized that people who can’t afford gifts can’t afford Christmas trees,” she said. “And so I just realized that I wanted to be a Christmas tree farmer.”
Powell also expressed interest in opening a food co-op in Newberg.
“There’s this spot that I’ve been scouting out and I think that would make a great initial startup food co-op. And they just put in an insurance or something ridiculous in there,” she said.
No matter where she ends up, Powell hopes to continue to serve her local community.
“I serve because I love serving,” she said.
Joel Ray/Photo editor
Joel Ray can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.