Lutheran Services in America, Inc. (LSA) is pleased to welcome Tamaria Kelly as the AmeriCorps Volunteers In Service to America (VISTA) Community Resilience-Building Program Leader. Over the next twelve months, Tamaria will be responsible for managing and supporting a network of seven VISTA members under a grant recently awarded to LSA by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). She will work with VISTA staff at LSA member organizations to build resilience in low-income communities. The VISTA members will be hosted and sponsored by members of the LSA Disaster Network, including: Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota, Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota, Lutheran Services Carolinas, Lutheran Family and Children’s Services of Missouri, and Upbring. The program will improve the ability of low-income communities to respond to, withstand, and recover from adverse shocks and stresses, including natural and human-caused disasters, by implementing a variety of activities that will support the communities through assessment, risk mitigation, preparedness, volunteer training, and disaster services improvement.
Tamaria comes to LSA with previous VISTA experience, having served as a Middle School Success Project Coordinator under a VISTA program sponsored by the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. In that position, Tamaria worked closely with key community stakeholders to coordinate professional development opportunities. She also helped develop additional youth services programs and supported county-wide strategies to increase student graduation rates. Tamaria is a native of Buffalo, New York, and has also worked with the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County. She graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in sociology from University of Buffalo, The State University of New York and also holds a Masters of Public Administration from Binghamton University, The State University of New York.
Tamaria joined LSA July 25, 2016, reporting to TJ Cantwell, Direct of Member Engagement. Tamaria is excited to share her knowledge with the other VISTAs in the LSA program and to help guide the program to success.