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SDSU Extension Welcomes Nicholas Ciaramitaro, AmeriCorps VISTA Member

December 18, 2018

Brookings, S.D. - SDSU Extension recently hired Nicholas Ciaramitaro to serve as the SDSU Extension Agriculture & Society AmeriCorps VISTA Member.

"Nicholas has a unique skill set and a passion for service that will provide capacity to SDSU Extension programs geared toward lifting individuals out of poverty," said Aimee House Ladonski, SDSU Extension Volunteer Development Field Specialist.

SDSU Extension received an AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) grant in 2017. This grant will provide eight full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members to serve one-year terms working with SDSU Extension staff to increase knowledge of and access to physical and financial health and wellness techniques in effort to bring economically disadvantaged South Dakotans out of poverty.

Ciaramitaro will work in a supportive role to Jason Schoch, SDSU Extension Tribal Local Foods Associate.

"We are pleased to have Nick join our team. The SDSU Tribal Local Foods Program is working to help empower Lakota people to address food security, while simultaneously working to improve the overall general health, quality of life and well-being of the people and communities of Pine Ridge. Nick's contributions to the team will greatly expand our efforts and impacts on Pine Ridge and we look forward to working beside him on creating a culturally-appropriate, small-acreage agricultural system for new tribal farmers," Schoch said.

More about Nicholas Ciaramitaro

A recent graduate of University of Missouri with a Bachelors of Science inBiology, Ciaramitaro was eager to become involved as a SDSU Extension Agriculture & Society VISTA Member.

"It is appealing to me due to the location of the assignment, I wanted to address and understand the challenges of food security in reservations and rural communities like Winner," said Ciaramitaro, who in the future, plans to pursue a law degree focused in environmental justice.

SDSU Extension AmeriCorps VISTA Positions Open

SDSU Extension is recruiting for the following 2018-2019 AmeriCorps VISTA Positions:

Health Outreach VISTA Member - Join an exciting effort modeled after Stanford University's chronic disease self-management program, supported by premiere healthcare partners. Plan events, market the program, engage partners and more.

Healthy Schools Advisor VISTA Member - Join a team dedicated to strengthening nutrition education programs and fostering healthy school environments. Member will build support for school breakfast and farm-to-school programs.

Agriculture & Society 4-H VISTA Member - Do you desire to help shape cutting-edge, team-based programming that serves those in need? Co-lead advancement of the Science of Ag Program and Life Skills Workforce Food Access Program.

SDSU Grant Program VISTA Member - Never a dull moment in the College of Agriculture and Biological Grant Program Office. You'll build capacity for research, learn grant writing & have ready access to The BEST Ice Cream - SDSU created Cookies & Cream.

AmeriCorps VISTA national service members will:

  • Serve a one year term of service: Late Summer 2018 - Late Summer 2019
  • Earn $5,900 in education award to be used toward tuition or student loans
  • Earn a monthly living stipend
  • Gain valuable work experience and community connections
  • Receive preferential hiring post-service with federal agencies and hundreds of employers of national service across the country

For position descriptions and application information, search for Americorps.  Questions can be directed to Aimee House Ladonski, SDSU Extension Volunteer Development Field Specialist at 605.782.3290; or by email.