AmeriCorps VISTA – St. Joes U -Overbrook Area Science Education

Posted by Saint Joseph's University on March 19, 2018

Samuel Gompers Elementary School and Overbrook High School enroll children from low-income families within walking distance of Saint Joseph’s University (SJU). Long-standing collaborations provide opportunities for SJU students to bring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering Math) education resources to Gompers. With the recent closure of local middle schools, Gompers has expanded into 6-8 and has additional responsibilities to prepare children for high school. SJU also has connections to Overbrook high school. The goal of this VISTA project is to build a framework of support that strengthens connections between these schools while supporting SJU student involvement in K-12 STEM education. The VISTA will work with educators and scientists to develop training and tracking mechanisms that will best serve all participants. Promoting mentoring relationships is especially important because it helps participants develop self-efficacy. For example, last summer a Body Adventure Summer Camp for children from Gompers was developed by two recent SJU grads and implemented with the help of undergraduates. It was popular and successful, and for next year we plan to next train qualified high school students from Overbrook to serve as camp co-leaders. Similar efforts to involve more students of all ages in simultaneously mentoring and being mentored will be undertaken by the VISTA. A number of interventions are currently underway in both public schools so this is a perfect time to link current established programs, look for synergies, and leverage current resources to build sustainable programs that can benefit children for years to come.

Member Duties : The VISTA will first assess community needs and resources available with respect to using Saint Joseph’s University college student involvement in K-12 STEM education to strengthen connections with a nearby Philadelphia elementary school (Gompers) and a nearby high school (Overbrook). Implementation of recommendations developed out of this process will follow. We expect this to include development of training materials for program participants. The VISTA will coordinate field-testing of training materials in the spring semester and incorporate suggested changes into documentation that will be available for future participants. The project includes extensive opportunities for networking with an array of participants already involved in ongoing science education outreach.

Program Benefits : Training , Relocation Allowance , Childcare assistance if eligible , Health Coverage* , Choice of Education Award or End of Service Stipend , Living Allowance .

*For details about AmeriCorps VISTA healthcare benefits, please visit

Terms : Permits working at another job during off hours .

Service Areas : Community Outreach , Education , Children/Youth .

Skills : STEM background and interest , Youth Development .

Program Start/End Date 07/23/2018 – 07/22/2019

Work Schedule Full Time

Education level College graduate
Age Requirement Minimum: 18 Maximum: None

Program Locations PENNSYLVANIA

Languages English

Accepting Applications From 03/01/2018 To 05/31/2018

Contact Karen Snetselaar
Saint Joseph’s University
Philadelphia PA 19131

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