Meet the AmeriCorps VISTA Members

Greetings Love Your Block Community,

We would like to take a moment to introduce ourselves. We are the AmeriCorps VISTA members, Brooke Wells and Tyler Cook, serving in the first year of the Cities of Service Love Your Block program in Hamilton City Hall. In the first year of the Love Your Block program, we will be building the foundation for the Love Your Block Hamilton Program. The Love Your Block program will award community groups in low-income areas of Hamilton $1,000 mini-grants. The awarded community groups can use the funds to make the changes they wish to see in their neighborhoods through volunteer-driven, sustainable revitalization projects.

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We began our VISTA service term in the start of September 2018. We are both committed to serving the Hamilton community, and excited to build the foundation for the Love Your Block program!

Brooke: I am a hometown girl, born and raised in Hamilton, OH. I recently graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. degree in Psychology and a minor in Education. I took an interest in psychology because I love learning about people, and I have a passion for serving others. Although I enjoyed my time at Ohio State, like many other graduates, I left feeling very uncertain about my academic and professional strengths. I knew I was passionate about helping others, but I wasnā€™t sure in what capacity. I applied for AmeriCorps VISTA hoping I would receive an opportunity to explore my strengths while gaining valuable experience in a professional setting. This year, as a Cities of Service Love Your Block VISTA in the City of Hamilton, I hope to make a positive social and environmental impact by promoting collaborative and bottom-up change in the city in which I grew up in.

Tyler: I grew up in the Dayton area, and lived in the suburb of Kettering for most of my life. I decided to attend Xavier University in Cincinnati because I wanted the smaller school environment and the Jesuit values of service and community really appealed to me. I ended up majoring in Criminal Justice, but found myself uninterested in a lot of the standard career paths for the major. I felt very uncertain as to what I wanted to do with my life, and decided to look into some other options. I did a good amount of service work during my time in school, so doing a year of service seemed like a good way to do meaningful work, while smoothing the transition into adulthood.

I hope this year will help me figure out what my strengths and weaknesses are, as well as help me determine what kind of work I find satisfying, so I can hopefully have a clearer picture of who I want to be. In the meantime, Iā€™m extremely excited to be working with the residents and leadership of Hamilton, and all of their lovely community groups, in order to make Hamilton cleaner, friendlier, and an overall better place to live.

We both are thrilled to work together this year and are excited to take on the first round of the Love Your Block program. We are also looking forward to building relationships with neighbors and gaining project management and volunteer coordination experience. We hope that the combination of our knowledge and skills will fuel our abilities to build connections with residents and we hope that the communities we serve will share our enthusiasm for the Love Your Block grant.

For more information about Love Your Block, please feel free to contact us at brooke.wells@hamilton-oh.gov and tyler.cook@hamilton-oh.gov.



Love Your Block Comes To Hamilton!

If your neighborhood had $1,000, what would you do to create a positive impact?  Love Your Block Hamilton wants to know your answer!

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Love Your Block Hamilton will be inviting community groups to apply for a mini-grant to transform their neighborhoods. Love Your Block Hamilton is a mini-grant program funded by Cities of Service to support resident-driven improvement projects in lower-income neighborhoods. Projects may include community gardens, neighborhood cleanups, tree planting, community murals, and graffiti removal.

Cities of Service is a national nonprofit organization that works with cities to launch and build city-led, resident-driven programs that target the needs of communities. In order to boost these efforts, Cities of Service has brought on two dedicated full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members for the first two years of the Love Your Block Hamilton program. AmeriCorps VISTA members are national service members who serve in U.S. communities to fight poverty, similar to the Peace Corps. This first year AmeriCorps VISTA members are Brooke Wells and Tyler Cook.

Brooke Wells is a Hamilton local and graduate of The Ohio State University where she received a B.A. degree in Psychology, with a minor in Education. Brooke is looking forward to the change that Love Your Block will bring to Hamilton.

Tyler Cook joins us from Kettering, Ohio to be part of the Love Your Block Hamilton team. Tyler is a graduate of Xavier University where he studied Criminal Justice and he is looking forward to collaborating with city leadership and residents to create a cleaner, safer, more engaged community.

Love Your Block is funded by Cities of Service, Corporation for National and Community Service, and the City of Hamilton.