Mai Kou Yang grew up in a Hmong enclave in the small town of Stevens Point, WI, where she and her family benefitted from many life-line services—including housing, employment and early childhood education—offered by a local nonprofit. Today, as a LISC AmeriCorps member, she is supporting her natal community, teaching digital literacy to Hmong families through the same organization that helped her. In celebration of AmeriCorps week, we are sharing Yang’s extraordinary story.
The city of Greenville, MS sits on the banks of the Mississippi River, at the heart of the agricultural Delta. It is also a birthplace of the Civil Rights movement, where community leaders and residents are carrying on the fight for social and economic justice in the long-underinvested region. As part of our celebration of Black History Month, we are highlighting the work of Greenville’s chief of police, Delando Wilson, who partners with LISC in his wide-ranging efforts to build a safer, more prosperous and racially equitable Greenville.
Rubinger Fellow Juanita Woods is a community development practitioner and city council member in Monroe, LA who specializes in helping people skill up to take on living-wage jobs with local employers. She spoke with LISC about her fellowship project to provide apprenticeships for young people, the challenges of wealth-building in historically underserved communities, and the inspiration she gets from empowering youth on their life journeys.
In Richmond, Virginia, 86 percent of students don't take part in after-school activities—in many cases because they have no way of getting there. Damon Jiggetts, executive director of the Peter Paul Development Center and a 2019 Rubinger Fellow, has devised a new kind of bus company that could change all that, connecting youth to the kind of enrichment every child deserves.
LISC’s Pay for Success team shares an update on Safe Families for Children and our new report that covers the barriers and opportunities for innovation within the child welfare system. Below, the team provides insight into two new key opportunities that have presented themselves since the completion of the report.