Our mission is to connect passionate people with transformative community projects to fight poverty.
Our vision is that communities and the individuals who serve them thrive when every person contributes to a sustainable and just existence.
We are an institution that strives to promote equity. We encourage individual positionality and strive to define Our organizational positionality.
What is positionality?
Our identities are critical because they shape our perceptions. They determine our assumptions and our understanding of how others treat us (Bourke 2014). By recognizing our identities and paying attention to our biases, we can work with different groups and recognize their unique circumstances. (Bourke 2014). We would recommend looking at resources from the Anti-racist teaching collective for more materials and further insight.
What is organizational positionality?
Staff, members, partners, and organizational stakeholders each have a unique path. Organizational positionality begins to define the inevitable complexities that exist within interconnected entities like Arizona Serve. It is vital to recognize the collective perspective because by acknowledging our own relative power, privilege, and biases we are able to start to move towards equity literacy and increase our own agency accountability (Madison 2005; Gorski, 2020).
Arizona Serve’s Positionality
We began as a grassroots effort to support communities and AmeriCorps members. Now we are a small Prescott College staff with dominant and nondominant identities that recruit new members of varying social identities, educational backgrounds, and lived experiences. Thus, our positionality changes yearly.
On the positive side, our community continues to grow and foster new ideas. On the negative side, we commonly make assumptions about member needs because we have limited time to recognize individuality. Ultimately, we answer to the agencies that fund and support our mission; thus, we walk a fine line between our members and partners.
There are more drawbacks to our model; National Service is rooted in white saviorism, and we risk imposing outside perspectives without community input. We struggle to accommodate citizenship status, income barriers, and reliance on grant funding. We strive to remain aware of the impact of our position and actively work towards operating a member-driven program that intentionally cultivates equity.
Our values are interlinked and inform our organizational goals that direct our yearly action commitments. This is the mechanism that keeps us accountable to our diverse array of stakeholders.
We engage with the community through deliberate outreach, partnerships with nonprofits and public agencies, and community-driven initiatives.
We amplify the voices of non-dominant identity groups by confronting inequities with a social justice perspective.
We strengthen our members for future endeavors through professional development, targeted coaching, and professional networking opportunities.
We recognize the imperfections in our work and will always work towards bettering our communities by constant self-reflection, internal evaluation metrics, and open-door policies to our communities
For Program Year 2022-2023, Arizona Serve of Prescott College is committed to:
Training: Civic Leadership Training content will be overhauled beginning in December 2021. All training content will seek to amplify member voices by enhancing and updating sources, including and/or involving members in the team meeting space, and including at least one non-dominant identity in each Guest Speaker Series panel.
Fund Development: Arizona Serve will waive, thanks to the American Rescue Plan (ARP) $40,000, in partner share to at least eight agencies between the regions whose mission is focused on social justice. A champion group will cultivate an application process to be utilized in the upcoming grant year to better identify partners, vet waived partner share, and further incentivize members. $50,000 will be raised by at least 20 external sources (i.e. grants and fundraising). The Tucson Program Coordinator and Executive Director will lead this process.
Engagement: The communications team will internally publish four blogs articles, two podcasts, and one newsletter a month and post to social media every day. Externally they will create 12 press releases, speak on the radio six times, be featured on local news stations twice, and participate in 12 tabling events a year. These tactics will be reviewed quarterly through the communications/marketing plan and will seek to help increase engagement in the community to build partnerships, recruit members, and create a culture of National Service in our region.
Evaluation and Compliance: Arizona Serve will develop a new set of standards to review and revise our data collection metrics and methods to ensure that we can accurately demonstrate the work of our members and the efficacy of our programs by September 2023. Performance measures will be reviewed and data collection processes revised by September 2022.
Recruitment: Staff will create specific Arizona Serve-wide recruitment metrics and enrollment benchmarks for State and VISTA by November 2022. It will include specific percentages to fill by unique dates and looking at adding partnership development into recruitment metrics in the form of a manual.
Staff Involvement: Arizona Serve will create a policy requiring staff to volunteer monthly with current and potential partner sites (for 2-8 hours) to build connections with community organizations by November 2022.
COVID-19 Preparedness: Create a plan for monitoring the COVID situation, regularly reviewing CDC guidelines, updating all staff (and members), and adapting our models to remote work if the situation demands it.
Partnership Development: To maximize our impact, both rework our policies for assessing partner sites to ensure that they align with our anti-poverty values (including anti-racism), and rework our policies for dealing with partners that do not uphold their responsibilities to ensure that our members get the most out of Arizona Serve’s projects by the Summer of 2023.
Member Experience: Arizona Serve will overhaul our member experience by fostering connections between members and staff while also developing a process for consistently collecting and analyzing member feedback by Summer 2022. Create a one-stop-shop knowledge bank of tips, tools, and tricks to make sharing information between team leaders more reliable to make the member experience more consistent by Summer 2022.
Equity Literacy: An Advisory Council made up of community stakeholders will support Arizona Serve by January of 2022. The group will examine organizational policies and structures to address the causes of inequality and incorporate the voices of commonly marginalized stakeholders.
Our accessibility statement
Our story began in 2006 when several Yavapai County agencies saw a gap in services, so they brought together a small team of AmeriCorps VISTA members to fight poverty in the region. Several members chose to stay after their service year to develop the Yavapai County VISTA Project. In 2009, we became Serve Yavapai and a program of Prescott College, increasing in scope and size to 25 VISTA members. Today, we are a team over 150 strong. We are proud to have one of the largest and top-performing AmeriCorps projects in the state of Arizona. Our staff, all of whom were National Service members themselves, oversees a collaborative team environment that allows us to support communities in the fight against poverty.
Today, we are a team over 150 strong. We are proud to have one of the largest and top-performing AmeriCorps projects in the state of Arizona. Our staff, all of whom were National Service members themselves, oversees a collaborative team environment that allows us to support communities in the fight against poverty.
Consider making a financial contribution to support our AmeriCorps members and general programming.
Annie Haseley, Associate Dean of Student Affairs
Our fearless leader hails from the great state of Illinois. Our Mama-Chicago Bear Annie has been a dedicated public servant for over 20 years. Annie got her start serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin - a tiny country in west Africa. Her 2 term service experience was tres bien, no wonder she always proudly reflects and regails her experience! She returned to the midwest with many skills in her back pocket and a fresh pair of sunglasses (seen in headshot). The sunglasses came in handy for the bright futures of the children she worked as a Club Director for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee. Feeling called to serve again, Annie hit the road and headed west. Kicking off her AmeriCorps experience with a summer VISTA term in Alaska, she then made her way down south to Prescott, Arizona. Annie has been an integral part of this team since her very first role as the VISTA team leader in 2017. There was no doubt from this experience that she was a natural born leader. Her caring and supportive spirit helped grow Arizona Serve into what it is today. Annie oversees member management, training, integration into Prescott College, finance, grants, and staff - this gal does it all! When she’s not rallying the team, you can find Annie rallying her family in sunny Scottsdale. Annie and her wife, Hillary, have six wonderful children, a tricked out camping trailer, many loving pets, and overall a welcoming home where everyone is part of the family!
Sarah Haber, Director of State Programs
Sarah was born and raised in New York and brings her Empire State of Mind pizzazz to the Arizona Serve team. Getting her start in national service in 2017, Sarah made the great trek to Prescott to serve as a Community Volunteer Program Coordinator VISTA with the Chino Valley Area Chamber of Commerce. Sarah used her sharp mind and awe-inspiring skills to develop an online database to help local nonprofits connect with aspiring volunteers. Exhilarated by her term of service, Sarah signed on as the VISTA Team Leader for Prescott. Sarah's dedicated work, rockstar personality, and ambitious dreams propelled her to join the Arizona Serve staff full-time. She joined the Tucson team in 2019, working her way up the leadership ladder into her current role as Director of State Programs. Sarah's responsibilities include whipping the Tucson team into shape, overseeing all marketing and communications for Arizona Serve, ensuring grant compliance and reporting are in order, supporting AmeriCorps members, and fighting fires like an AmeriCorps hotshot. In Sarah's free time, you can catch her hiking Tumamoc, being the MVP of her kickball league, writing kick-butt discussion posts for her Sustainable MBA degree at Prescott College, listening to Wet Leg, catching up with the bros over brewskis at Che's Lounge, and running around Tucson as a proud NYC marathon champion.
Number: (928) 793-8941
Allison Doty, AmeriCorps Program Manager
This Irvy-Girly is writing the playbook on all things VISTA. Allison entered into the world of National Service in 2020, fueled by her experiences with United Way, Watershed Management Group, and the Tucson City of Gastronomy. Her passion for environmental and social justice led her to put her pink strawberry keyboard to work! Grant writing is one of the many interests that make Allison a superstar Program Manager. Her ability to tell our story and highlight members' impacts get us that $$$. She also brings our VISTA team together as they soar to new heights in that Tucson sunset. Allison rocks it on the soccer field and drives home bumpin’ her favorite tunes. If you hear Bad Bunny or Post Malone in the car next to you, it just may be our darling Doty.
Number: (520) 344-0102
Katie Retwaiut, AmeriCorps Training & Program Manager
A girl from New Mexico travels further west. Katie began serving in 2019 as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Prescott Arizona. There she made lots of friends and proved to be a natural-born leader within her cohort bringing the team together. After she completed her term she relocated to Tucson and served 2 more part-time terms for Arizona Serve and Family Housing Resources. Her go-getter attitude earned her a Master's in Public Administration with a focus on Nonprofit Management from the University of Arizona. Today, Katie manages our Opportunity Youth Skill Up and Peer Coach programs. She also facilitates our Civic Leadership Trainings and coordinates outreach. While this groovy gal has made numerous accomplishments her biggest to date was getting to see her all-time favorite Taylor Swift perform at The Eras tour 3 times. We are so lucky to have this Swiftie on our team.
Brandon White, Program & Finance Manager
Go Green! Go (Brandon) White! This Michigan man has climbed great heights in these mountains! A dedicated Spartan fan, Brandon attended Michigan State University where he studied kinesiology with a specialization in health promotions. Landing a career in Washington DC, Brandon pursued assisting physical therapy clients. His natural ability to help others was no stretch to shift into national service. In 2019 after a very compelling interview, Brandon laced up his hiking boots and moved to Prescott, Arizona. Brandon served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Boys to Men Mentoring Network. After he completed his service, Brandon continued on the trail of AmeriCorps with GEM Environmental. There, he developed a new AmeriCorps workforce development program for students in the Prescott area. Missing his AZ Serve fam, he joined the team as the VISTA Program Manager in 2021. Brandon facilitates trainings and oversees finance. Ka-ching! Brandon is a real trendsetter and inspired some of this staff to pursue a degree at Prescott College in Sustainable Leadership. When he’s not hitting the books, he’s hitting softballs with his team! Better known as Fozzie, this Prescott College Muppet is a home run in our eyes. Waka waka!
Number: (623) 282-2073
Sean Stevens, AmeriCorps Program Coordinator
During the day, Sean enjoys solving problems and supporting efforts that tangibly improve the lives and experiences of his fellow man. He views it as a privilege, rather than a responsibility, to work to meaningfully better the world. He brings to the table his years of coaching and mentoring experience as well as his prior work with the Prescott Unified School District's volunteer teams. Though he got his start in AmeriCorps shortly after graduating from Case Western Reserve University in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in history, he found the experience fulfilling enough to sign up for another year of punishment in the hope of helping others find their own meaningful experiences. After work hours, Sean is a quintessential dork and a loveable rapscallion. When he's not busy roughing it as a rogue, he enjoys listening to Jukebox the Ghost, watching Community, reading Redwall, and getting trounced by skilled fencers.
Number: (520) 276-1802
Stacy Oliver, AmeriCorps Program Coordinator
This time, Stacy has got it going on! Stacy comes to our team with a background in psychology, volunteer management, community outreach and education, social justice, capacity building, and service learning. This Alabama angel traded the swampy land of Forrest Gump to become a Tucson treasure! Stacy was no stranger to the Arizona Serve family. She was a dedicated and rockstar supervisor to our many members who served with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. It’s no surprise that her transition to our team has produced grape results! Stacy manages our Public Health Corps members after having served a Public Health Corps member herself. This busy bee is also earning her Masters in Clinical Counseling from Prescott College. Her interests take many forms, as Stacy enjoys hiking, connecting with people she loves, spotting raptors and wildflowers, napping, listening to podcasts, exploring new places, body liberation and advocacy, existential conversations, binging a good TV series, and receiving photos of her nephew. Her most important role, however, is serving as the official Normal Gossip podcast ambassador to the Arizona Serve staff. You didn’t hear it from us!.
Number: (520) 477-6003
Sierra Cottle, AmeriCorps Program Coordinator
Sierra kick-started her National Service journey in her hometown of Prescott, where she served as an AmeriCorps State member for three separate terms. Sierra’s educational background is in Environmental Science and her professional background is in public health, youth empowerment, and education. Now, as an AmeriCorps Program Coordinator, Sierra is excited to continue driving impact in Prescott and the surrounding communities. In Sierra’s free time, you can find her at home playing with her dog Percy, experimenting with gluten-free baking, enjoying time in nature, gardening, advocating for LGBTQ+ youth, and traveling with her fiancée.
Number: (928) 888-9613
Kennedy Frost, Tucson AmeriCoprs State Team Leader
Ken you believe she’s back for a second term? This southern belle serves as the Tucson State Team Leader. Throughout her time at the University of Arizona, Kennedy took on various roles that drove her passion for community work. Kennedy spruces up the Arizona Serve team with her skills and knowledge from Step Up to Justice and the Veterans Advocacy Law Clinic. After graduating with degrees in political science and French, Kennedy immediately jumped into community work and became the Tucson State Team Leader. Her spunky spirit and infectious attitude bring a light to the Arizona Serve team and the members that she supports. Kennedy’s post-AmeriCorps aspirations are to attend law school and become a real-life Elle Woods (What? Like it’s hard?). In Kennedy’s free time, Kennedy enjoys reading, driving 60 minutes to visit the Thing roadside attraction, trying new activities, traveling, coming up with fun check-in questions, and cuddling with her cat, Clementine after losing in trivia at Borderlands..
Number: (520) 222-9067
Pablo Martinez, Youth Programming Team Leader
Pablo returns to his old stomping grounds as our newest addition to the Arizona Serve team as the Youth Programming Team Leader! After graduating from Salpointe Catholic High School here in Tucson, Pablo packed up his cleats and mitt to play baseball at New Mexico Military Institute for two years. Although not a fan of green chile, Pablo embraced the Land of Enchantment and transferred to New Mexico State University (Aggie Up!), obtaining degrees in Psychology and Spanish. His southwestern roots make him the perfect person to lead our MEC Peer Coach and Goodwill Opportunity Youth Skill Up programs. Pablo supports our youth members that provide peer-to-peer and job readiness development. Yoda once said, “Your path you must decide.” As a self-identified nerd that loves Star Wars, Pablo lives by this every day and hopes to instill this when he becomes a future school counselor. You can catch Pablo playing baseball on Sundays, reading DC and Marvel comics, and watching movies on the weekends. You won’t catch him eating mayo, coffee, fancy cakes, or Korean BBQ. Oh well, more for our team!
Number: (520) 789-6656