Jessi We have a new staff member at Faith that Works! Jessi Courier joined the Faith that Works team this week as our Hispanic Outreach Coordinator through the AmeriCorps VISTA program. She will serve full-time with Faith that Works for the next year, overseeing our after-school tutoring and outreach programs in the Chesterfield Mobile Home Park. Below, Jessi shares some of her background and what led her to serve with our Hispanic Outreach program:

I was born and raised in Southern Illinois, just outside of Chester. After graduating high school, I interned for a year with an international ministry in Garden Valley, Texas. In June 2014, I graduated from Regent University with my bachelor’s degree in Theology and Biblical Studies, concentrating on Historical Biblical Studies.

Last year, I served as an AmeriCorps VISTA on the Faith Engagement Initiative in Billings, MT.  This project concentrated on increasing interfaith collaboration for Welcome Home Billings - the city’s ten year plan to alleviate homelessness.  The Faith Engagement Initiative educated faith leaders and their congregants about the specific issues that individuals living in homelessness face in Billings and empowered faith communities to collaborate and serve that population.  

After completing my VISTA year in Billings, I decided to serve a second VISTA term because I love VISTA’s mission to make a local, sustainable impact to alleviate poverty. I chose to serve at Faith that Works for several reasons. Faith that Works concentrates on local and global outreach while training leaders from within the communities they serve. I was specifically drawn to the Hispanic Outreach in the Chesterfield Mobile Home Park (CMHP) because of the emphasis on education and their commitment to partner with that community long-term. This year, I hope to help build a streamlined structure for Faith that Work’s tutoring program in the CMHP that will make it more self-sustaining. To do this, I look forward to building relationships with community members, volunteers, faith communities, and organizations.  

On a more personal note, I look forward to exploring St. Louis in the next year and getting to know a new city. In my spare time, I’m an avid reader and have a standing goal to read 100 books per year. I also love biking, cooking, and painting. 

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