Hi! My name is Jess Hegstrom and I'm an AmeriCorps VISTA service member for East Helena Public Schools. My work involves coordinating community efforts toward suicide prevention for the district and the greater East Helena community. So far, that's included assisting the East Helena Suicide Prevention & Awareness Coalition with its first annual Out of the Darkness Campus Walk and helping to plan the East Helena Heads Up Camp with our partners -- Shodair Children's Hospital, the Montana Hospital Association and the Office of Public Instruction.
I'm originally from San Diego, Calif. but spent five years in Missoula before moving here with my husband for the start of service in January 2017.
AmeriCorps? What's that?
AmeriCorps service members are all about getting things done for America. They do this by applying their skills and passion to address social problems such as hunger, illiteracy, and poverty at their service sites. These include nonprofits, schools, community groups, public agencies and faith-based groups throughout the country.
There are different branches of the AmeriCorps family, such as NCCC, FEMA Corps, VISTA and AmeriCorps State and National. VISTAs, like myself, commit to a year of service to focus on specific capacity building projects that help bring people and communities out of poverty. My project focuses on suicide prevention for youth and involves creating partnerships and programs to address this public health crisis while providing education and outreach for the community.