AmeriCorps VISTA Reflects on Time at FCC
Since July 2019, Arth Sharma has served FCC as an AmeriCorps VISTA sponsored by Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic (CCMA), a non-profit member association for higher education institutions that promotes public service and civic engagement programs.
In that time, Arth has helped the College with a number of initiatives that serve populations both in FCC and in the community.
One project he is especially proud of is the development of peer mentoring workshops that connect current FCC students in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program with English Language Learner (ELL) students at Frederick High School.
“Some students don’t consider college an option for them,” Arth said. “These workshops let high school students hear from current FCC students who are just a few years older than them, and maybe have similar experiences or backgrounds as them and who are doing well in college. It can help them think about their futures.”
Another project Arth led was connecting the FCC Spanish Club with the Asian American Center of Frederick (AACF) for a community project. Arth knew the Spanish Club was looking for service project opportunities when he heard that the AACF was in need of Spanish speakers to translate some of their informational material from English to Spanish.
“Many people don’t know that the AACF serve Spanish speakers, but they do,” Arth said. “Being able to connect the Spanish Club with them for this project was great because the FCC students were really passionate about the work, and it filled a community need for the AACF.”
Arth started the VISTA program after graduating last year from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. He will complete his time at FCC in July 2020, and plans to attend medical school in the fall.
He said his experiences at FCC have opened up his eyes to helping underserved communities, a focus he wants to continue in medical school and his future career.