Are you interested in living and working in the shadow of Cinderella’s Castle…not at Disney World, but in the Real World? Come to Apopka, Florida…10 miles NW of Orlando; home to an economically poor, culturally rich, community of families. Teach, learn and be on the forefront of a social justice movement, making a difference in the lives of this largely immigrant, farm worker and working poor community! If that alone doesn’t sound intriguing enough, imagine eating some of the best Mexican food ever and learning to dance salsa and meringue! All this and much more in Apopka!
Each member in Apopka is assigned a primary work site plus they receive the opportunity and encouragement to reach out to do other service during the year. For example, members who serve in an Orange County Public School during the day might teach English or citizenship classes to adults in the evening. There are an amazing number of opportunities to become connected to the community through service in Apopka!
Orange County Public Schools
Hope CommUnity Center
Hope CommUnity Center (HOPE) is the host of the entire Apopka Notre Dame AmeriCorps team. It is a family of programs working with immigrants, farm workers, people of color and other low-income families. NDA members assigned to HOPE serve in these capacities:
After-school tutoring programs for elementary, middle and high school students (bilingual English/Spanish necessary). Includes supervising volunteers, tracking student attendance and progress and communicating with parents;
Adult education classes - primarily ESL, GED and a basic literacy class. This includes tracking student attendance and progress and overseeing volunteers (bilingual English/Spanish necessary)
Creating educational/informational pieces for use in various media and community venues. NDA may also provide a role in documenting HOPE’s events (photography, videography) and maintains HOPE’s social media presence (bilingual English/Spanish desirable but not mandatory); strong writing and creative, artistic skills required
Youth empowerment program that includes weekly youth group meetings, youth retreats, cultural enrichment activities, service projects, and summer camp. Member also monitors student academic progress and assists youth in obtaining academic support resources;
College and career access program including planning, organizing, and implementing academic and enrichment activities for students who are primarily first generation in their family to consider post-secondary education (bilingual English/Spanish desireable but not mandatory)
Immigration program services including supporting community members seeking to become US citizens, educating community members of their rights and responsibilities, and assisting people in adapting to US culture, language and way of life (bilingual English/Spanish necessary)
Service learning/immersion including Alternative Spring Breaks and other immersion experiences in Apopka. NDA will help develop program content, perform training, development relationships with host families, coordinate homestays and provide support to program participants (bilingual English/Spanish necessary)
In every HOPE assignment, the focus is on developing relationships. The opportunities will be attractive to people who are interested in working in a highly relational, grassroots, social justice, non-profit realm.
Farmworker Association of Florida (FWAF)
The FWAF is a grassroots community organization founded to provide services to farm worker communities throughout Florida, including Apopka. The NDA member serves as a liaison between the FWAF and local/non-local colleges/universities, service organizations, volunteers and other groups interested in learning more about serving the community. The member is required to have strong technology/social media skills as they work with the FWAF blog, website, and social media. This member may also coordinate events hosted by the FWAF and create ways for participants to reflect on the experience to gain insights into the local and more global realities of immigrants, farm workers and other marginalized communities.
Orlando Neighborhood Improvement Corporation
NDA members offer presence and support to low-income residents living in ONIC properties/communities. They organize and coordinate activities with residents, such as after-school tutoring, youth enrichment activities, financial literacy for adults and they perform outreach regarding ONIC programs. Members develop rapport with residents to help them identify, understand, and problem solve challenges, and they use a variety of techniques with youth to create structured environment to reinforce fun learning and meet their varying needs and interests. Members meet with parents and youth to provide feedback and discuss learning and progress.
Self-Help Federal Credit Union
The NDA provides support in developing a strong network of referral sources for credit union services (mortgage loans) in the low income communities, conducting outreach to academic, religious, immigrant and in other settings where there are low income people. Member will also work to identify natural allies working against predatory lending (payday lending, car lending abuses, mortgage lending) and find ways to build relationships
Holocaust Resource and Education Center
The NDA will implement the UpStanders Program in several area middle schools. The UpStanders Program is a bullying prevention initiative that challenges students to study the Holocaust in order to understand the role they each play in creating a safe inclusive school campus.
Seminole State College
NDA members at Seminole State coordinate a student Citizen Scholars program and lead initiatives for increasing student engagement. The NDA also coordinates civic engagement events and campus community events in collaboration with volunteers. Members work alongside other social justice initiatives to host civic dialogues on campus, as well as create and maintain the civic engagement website and assist First Generation Freshmen.
At this post-secondary educational institution, NDA members provide assistance and support to the student peer-based diversity and inclusion work of the Multicultural Student Council. The NDA also provides mentoring, vision-planning, and advising to leaders and members of multicultural student organizations. It should be noted that Stetson University is located in Deland, FL, about 1 hour from Apopka.
Harbor House - Domestic Violence Organization
NDA members at Harbor House serve in one of two capacities:
Working with children who are living at the DV shelter. This may include providing academic support and/or youth enrichment; supporting youth in adapting to being in the shelter; answering the DV Hotline
Working at the Orange County Courthouse assisting survivors seeking restraining orders against their abusers (bilingual English/Spanish highly desirable); providing “triage” at the registration desk; answering the DV Hotline; safety planning with survivors
Notre Dame Mission Volunteers - AmeriCorps
5405 Loch Raven Blvd
Baltimore, MD 21239
Phone:(410) 532-6864 - Fax: (410) 532-2418
Apopka, FL (Orlando area)