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NEWS | Jan. 17, 2023

PNS, AmeriCorps Partnership on STEM Outreach, School Liaison

By PNS Public Affairs Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

PORTSMOUTH NAVAL SHIPYARD, Maine - Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the federal agency AmeriCorps to establish a collaborative, mutually beneficial relationship between AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) and PNS.

AmeriCorps VISTA is a program that places full-time national service members in nonprofit and public agencies to build capacity and sustainability in support of alleviating poverty in the United States. Two AmeriCorps VISTA members will be recruited to serve in partnership with the PNS STEM Outreach Program and the installation’s Military School Liaison Officer. Both projects will support underserved and economically disadvantaged youth in the Seacoast and surrounding area.

“As an AmeriCorps alum, I have seen firsthand the tremendous impact this program can have on a community,” states Libby Hite, PNS STEM Outreach Program Manager. “I feel fortunate to manage this program as we embark on a new partnership and engage with schools and students in a truly meaningful way.”

The MoA is a dynamic agreement that can be used to support the needs of low-income and underserved populations.

“Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is proud to collaborate with the AmeriCorps VISTA program,” said Shipyard Commander, Capt. Michael Oberdorf. “These new resources will help increase our outreach and liaison programs to reach the underserved people in our community.  Providing this expanded support shows how much we care about our shipyard family as well as our community neighbors.”

The Military Youth and Family Support VISTA member will support and engage economically disadvantaged military students and families through the creation of meaningful local resources, scholarship guides, and a diversity, equity and inclusion lending library to ease the navigation of frequent moves. The STEM Outreach VISTA member will support the PNS team of trades and engineering professionals to expand STEM opportunities in underserved schools by developing meaningful educational partnerships and expanding the existing SeaPerch underwater robotics program.

“AmeriCorps is proud to have the dual honor of serving our nation’s veterans and military families, as well as serving alongside them,” said Carly Bruder, Acting Director of AmeriCorps VISTA. “Through this new AmeriCorps VISTA partnership with the Department of the Navy, we’ll join forces to build community, educational and economic opportunities for underserved communities including military youth.  We’re grateful for the leadership at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the continued collaboration to address poverty in our nation.”

AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, provides opportunities for Americans to serve their country domestically, address the nation’s most pressing challenges, improve lives and communities, and strengthen civic engagement. Americans can serve with AmeriCorps VISTA for yearlong and summer programs. AmeriCorps VISTA, as one of AmeriCorps longest standing programs, focuses on poverty alleviation such as education, public health and food security.

PNS is America’s leader for attack submarine maintenance, repair, and modernization. The on-time completion of submarine availabilities is critical to maintaining the U.S. Navy’s maritime superiority.  As a Naval Sea Systems Command operated field activity, PNS is committed to expanding our undersea advantage and maximizing the material readiness of the fleet by safely delivering first-time quality work, on time, and on budget.