More than 30 Years of Engagement for Ohio's Public Good

AmeriCorps Student Resource Center Campus Snapshot: University of Akron

LEFT- Kayla Perry, OCC’s AmeriCorps member at the University of Akron, at UA’s MLK Day Fair to inform students of services they can receive through the Student Resource Center program, ZipAssist.

Meet Kayla Perry, OCC’s AmeriCorps member at the University of Akron. Kayla started her service at UA in fall 2019. She is helping her campus expand the programming of their ZipAssist initiative, which is designed to is meant to “serves as a central information hub, intentionally designed to share available resources, and provide support and assistance to help students be successful at The University of Akron.”

At the University of Akron, I primarily support and maintain the sustainability of the Campus Cupboard program, sponsored through the Student Advocacy office known as ZipAssist.

At the beginning of my service year, I was collecting and gathering research for the director and my site supervisor on best practices with running a campus cupboard based off of other institutional models that are close to UA’s demographics, population size, and urban setting. From that point, I pitched ideas to my director and supervisor that could be implemented in our process and operation of the program and so far we have collaborated on establishing these initiatives:

  1. Created online orders that students can request for a “Zip Care Package”, to expand outreach while respecting a student’s dignity
  2. Developed a point system that sets perimeters, so each individual has equal and fair opportunities to access basic needs
  3. Edited/added more qualitative tracking devices both in the virtual and physical sense to reflect the impact the program is having on students and the contributions of donors and campus partners

My daily responsibilities involve stocking 3 grab and go cupboards around the university to spread the Campus Cupboard outreach further while also getting students connected to the walk-in space to privately shop in person when they need gap assistance for food and/or hygiene. Through my engagement with students on campus I will occasionally help students submit their information online for the Help-a-Zip referral program, as needed, and I also partake in campus drives and any other projects that are centered around the Campus Cupboard program.

Interested in bringing the AmeriCorps Student Resource Center to your campus? Please consider serving as a host site for the 2020-21 program year. Ohio Campus Compact is accepting host site inquiries through March 13, 2020.

View the informational materials here, and download the Intent to Apply here. Instructions are provided on the Intent to Apply form.

Questions about the SRC program? Contact Stephanie Dodd, Program Director for the AmeriCorps SRC program.

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