The Valley Educational Gardens Initiative (VEGI) is hiring for
Fall position: August 1, 2017- July 31, 2018. application deadline: 3-15-17
This position is a full-time year-round AmeriCorps position serving as the Garden Coordinator for the Valley Educational Gardens Initiative (VEGI). VEGI is a dynamic community organization operated through La Puente Home, which includes a homeless shelter and several local service agencies. The VEGI position focuses on providing garden and nutrition education at Alamosa Elementary School for 1,200 K-5th grade students during the school year, as well as hosting several summer garden programs across the San Luis Valley for youth K-12th grade. The Garden Coordinator also assists with maintaining the community garden and school garden spaces- including our GrowDome greenhouse space year-round. This position is dynamic and includes time dedicated to program and curriculum development, event planning, volunteer coordination, and partnership building through our valley-wide garden initiatives. This position works closely with the full-time VEGI Director, the summer intern, and fellow community members to grow healthy minds and healthy produce to benefit the San Luis Valley.
The preferred candidate would have an interest in and passion for environmental education focused on youth, organic food production, and community development. 1-2 years experience working or volunteering on a farm/garden and/or experience teaching kids or older youth (environmental awareness, leadership, etc) would serve as an asset in fulfilling this position. Experience working with children/youth, volunteers, and/or diverse populations would prepare a candidate for the teaching and group leading that this position requires. A qualified candidate would be hard-working, enthusiastic, and willing to jump into a dynamic organization and contribute to our mission, which is to grow healthy food and healthy eaters through our community food growing program and garden-based lessons. An ideal candidate would be looking to give back to a small town community with a great need, and to apply themselves through leading and co-leading garden and nutrition programming. Spanish language skills a plus, as well as skills in working with marginalized populations.
Meals would be on your own, with the exception of group meals that your host family may provide, free meals provided 3 times a day at the Shelter we work through which you are welcome to attend, and free produce you can take home from the garden. All AmeriCorps members are eligible for full SNAP (food stamps) benefits, which can be redeemed at our local Farmers Market, the Valley Food Co-op, and local grocery stores. We also hold regular potlucks in the gardens!
The Garden Coordinator will receive a living stipend of $425/month before taxes, medical insurance, FICA, unemployment insurance, workman's comp insurance and two AmeriCorps education awards totaling $5,730 upon successful completion of a year of service. All federal loans can be put into forbearance during the service year and the Corporation for National and Community Service will pay any accrued interest on said loans upon successful completion of the service year.
La Puente provides shared housing for all AmeriCorps members. Houses include a private bedroom for each member, communal living spaces, bathroom and kitchen, and a house vehicle that is shared with housemates for local use.
Please visit our website to learn about La Puente and all the programs: http://www.lapuente.net
The Valley Educational Gardens Initiative (VEGI) is a program of La Puente that serves the Alamosa, Del Norte, and Blanca-Ft. Garland communities through youth garden and nutrition education, as well as provides healthy, fresh food for the Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley and La Puente Homeless shelter. VEGI has two garden spaces - a community garden and a school garden which are the classroom spaces for students and allow hands-on and experiential learning. VEGI also manages a GrowDome greenhouse and a hoophouse for growing food in the extended season. VEGI is a dynamic community-founded organization that works to promote nutrient-dense eating habits and the goodness of locally grown gardens.
For application questions and inquiries:
Director of Education and Engagement
Volunteer Coordination and Community Education
La Puente Home
For questions about the VEGI program:
Director, Valley Educational Gardens Initiative (VEGI)
La Puente Home
(719) 589-4567 ext. 102