Lawrence University, in partnership with the Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities, will begin combining resources and talent to help combat poverty issues in the Fox Valley community under the direction of a new full-time AmeriCorps VISTA position.

Chuck Demler '11

Chuck Demler, a 2011 Lawrence graduate with a major in government, will serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA until Aug. 1, 2012 through Lawrence’s Volunteer and Community Service Center. The position is funded by a grant from Wisconsin Campus Compact. Demler spent two years with the VCSC as a student, including serving as student organization liaison as a senior. He also volunteered with the local Habitat for Humanity chapter and Amnesty International.

“Working with Lisa Schneider, the executive director of Housing Partnership, we will co-mentor Chuck and help him identify valuable community resources that can contribute to community-engaged learning at Lawrence,” said Monica Rico, Pieper Family Chair of Servant Leadership, director of engaged learning and associate professor of history.  “Chuck, in turn, will help raise awareness on the Lawrence campus about issues related to housing affordability in the Appleton area.”

AmeriCorps VISTA is a national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Founded in 1965 as Volunteers in Service to America, the program has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America with VISTA members serving full-time for a year at a nonprofit organization or local government agency, working to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses and strengthen community groups.

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,520 students from 44 states and 56 countries.