Press Release: Four AmeriCorps VISTA Members Assigned to United Way of Forsyth County

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Four AmeriCorps Volunteers In Service to America (VISTA) members were recently assigned to assist United Way of Forsyth County (UWFC) with their goal of building capacity and solutions to ending poverty countywide.

Alexander Batson, Brianna Lowery, Christina Spence and Jordan Thomas are all assigned to one year of service at UWFC. Their primary objective is to increase the ability of UWFC and its partners to implement effective long-term solutions necessary to ensure economically disadvantaged individuals, families and children can thrive.

Batson, a Charlotte native, earned his bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC). He serves as a data and research specialist for UWFC’s Forsyth Promise, a diverse partnership that brings community organizations together to make sure every child in Forsyth County has a chance to thrive in school, in work, and in life.

Lowery, of Charlotte, earned her bachelor’s degree in international studies from UNCC. She is working as a housing strategies development specialist, as part of UWFC’s mission to ensure Forsyth County’s residents have their basic needs met so they are able to strive towards a better life.

Spence, of Wilmington, NC, earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Appalachian State University and her master’s degree in Social Work from East Carolina University. She is working as a Forsyth Promise community engagement & education specialist.

Thomas, a native of Chapel Hill, earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Duke University. He is working as a community-based initiative specialist. UWFC community-based initiatives are designed to improve underlying conditions.

AmeriCorps VISTA members make a one-year, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. In return for their service, AmeriCorps VISTA members receive a modest living allowance and health benefits during their service, and have the option of receiving a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award or post-service stipend after completing their service. About 8,000 AmeriCorps VISTAs are placed each year in more than 1,100 projects in low-income communities around the country to support community efforts to overcome poverty. Today, more than 46 million Americans live in poverty, according to AmeriCorps VISTA.