Kourtney Yonge Hired As CSCC’s AmeriCorps VISTA

Thursday, January 16, 2014
Kourtney Yonge
Kourtney Yonge

Cleveland State Community College was honored to receive approval for a 2013/2014 AmeriCorps VISTA position. The position was filled by Kourtney Yonge, who has been instrumental in launching the Service-Learning component of the college’s First Year Seminar (FYS) course.

Susan Webb-Curtis, director of Cooperative Education and Service-Learning, said, “We are fortunate to have been selected by the Tennessee Campus Compact to receive an AmeriCorps VISTA position this year.  This position has made it possible to put over 250 student volunteers out in the community to assist agencies who address the serious business of poverty and homelessness in the Bradley County area. We hit the jackpot with Kourtney Yonge. She is such an amazing, compassionate professional.” 

Liz Moseley, assistant professor of Psychology and FYS Coordinator, recognized Ms. Yonge’s contribution to the program, “Kourtney kept track of over 200 students’ service-learning hours which was quite a large task. We couldn’t have done it without her!”

The FYS Service-Learning component currently focuses on alleviation of poverty and homelessness across our communities. During 2013, FYS faculty and the Service-Learning team prepared students for volunteer opportunities with the Cleveland Emergency Shelter, Family Promise of Bradley County, Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland, Habitat for Humanity of McMinn County, The Caring Place, and United Way of Bradley County. Students volunteered with the agency of their choice and learned about that agency’s mission, vision and role in the community. Volunteer opportunities centered on actual client needs, giving students real hands-on opportunities to positively impact the lives of others. CSCC students invested 1,600 volunteer hours in support of partnering agencies.

Ms. Yonge stated, “Having students leave that class with a better understanding of what service-learning is and what the poverty and homeless situation is in our community and some agencies that address that—makes it all worthwhile.”

In addition to FYS Service-Learning, Ms. Yong's VISTA responsibilities include working with partnering agencies on capacity-building initiatives.  She is also serving on The Mayor’s Coalition Housing Council to help facilitate planning and completion of a 2014 Housing Census, focused on understanding the magnitude of homelessness in Bradley County.  

“I have really enjoyed getting to work in so many areas,” she said.  “My responsibilities have included helping students get placed with the agencies we are working with, but I have also been able to learn so much about how service-learning works. I have also enjoyed getting to see and be a part of some of the work these agencies are doing.”  

Sherry Holloway, Service-Learning coordinator, said, “It is such a joy to work with Kourtney.  Her dedicated support of our communities, our partnering non-profit agencies, and Cleveland State students, faculty and staff has been phenomenal.”

Ms. Yonge said, “I am so thankful and blessed to be working in this position with people like Sherry (Holloway), Susan (Webb-Curtis), and Liz (Moseley). They have been great—so understanding, and to have their support and encouragement along the way has been amazing.”

Ms. Yonge received her Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Child Development and Family Studies and just received her Master’s degree in Holistic Child Development from Lee University. She plans to pursue a career as a Child Life Specialist.

For more information on Cleveland State’s service-learning program or the AmeriCorps VISTA, contact Ms. Webb-Curtis at 423 472-7141, ext. 718.


First Deep Space Images Received From Dalton State's New Observatory

A pproximately 1,300 light years away from earth is a bright star-forming region. The cloud of gas is a hub of activity that astronomers study to learn more about how stars form. Found in the Orion constellation and visible to the naked eye, the Orion Nebula is one of the brightest nebulas in the night sky. Dalton State has begun collecting images of this nebula through ... (click for more)

BASF Donates To STEM Programs In Honor Chattanooga Engineers Week

In honor of Chattanooga Engineers Week, BASF joined business and community leaders at the 2017 E-Week Kickoff luncheon and banquet to celebrate the importance and increasing impact of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills. The BASF team donated $1,000 each to the engineering departments of both Chattanooga State Community College and the University of Tennessee ... (click for more)

Lawsuit Charges That Georgia Law Firm Stole One Of The Woodmore Elementary Cases From Chattanooga Attorneys

A Circuit Court lawsuit charges that one of the Woodmore Elementary bus wreck cases was stolen from a Chattanooga law firm by Georgia attorneys just shortly after the Nov. 21 tragic crash that killed six students and injured others. It is illegal in Tennessee for attorneys to contact victims of a tragedy for 30 days after the incident. The lawsuit brought by Carl Lewis, father ... (click for more)

Stubbs Arrested In Carjacking At Lakesite McDonald's; SWAT Team Takes Him Into Custody After Struggle At Dayton Pike Apartment

The Sheriff's Office has arrested Jonathan Casey Stubbs in connection with a Feb. 13 carjacking at the parking lot of the McDonald's in Lakesite. Stubbs, 28, who gave his address as Ringgold, is charged with carjacking, aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping, resisting arrest, unlawfully carrying a weapon and three counts of violating probation on prior aggravated burglary ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Haggling Must Stop

Far be it for me to suggest the Hamilton County Commission and the School Board need to spend more time at recess but it was obvious this week the two groups need to work at being better friends. We have nine county commissioners and just as many corresponding school board members to work together for the betterment of one entity – Hamilton County. Everybody who thinks that is happening ... (click for more)