Cooperative Extension, AmeriCorps Connect to Create Opportunity

"AmeriCorps has a unique partnership with Cooperative Extension, whose mission is to take the University to the community," said Chris Dixon, Norton School Program Coordinator for UA Wildcat Corps. "This is one way to engage communities. AmeriCorps expands the capacity of Cooperative Extension to reach more people."

A program referred to as the "domestic Peace Corps," and offered through a traditional partnership with University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, is providing jobs, skills for future jobs and new experiences to AmeriCorps members.

When Rabia Jama first began as a UA Cooperative Extension Wildcat Corps member, she toured the James 4-H Camp, which provides youth development programming in northern Arizona.

"I told my supervisor I'd never been to a camp like this — the only camp I've been to is a refugee camp," said Jama, who fled to Kenya after the start of the Somali civil war. Later, Jama and her siblings moved to Phoenix and became U.S. citizens, and now Jama serves Maricopa County's 4-H program.

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