NAU and AmeriCorps are seeking people to mentor and make a difference in a newly created Vista Project aimed at enhancing access to higher education and the university’s reach to rural areas.

The university is seeking 24 Vista Project members to strengthen NAU’s outreach efforts “in promoting access to higher education in communities with concentrations of poverty and historically low college attendance rates,” said Erin Grisham, executive director of NAU’s Educational Support Services.

Project members are needed to create and maintain higher education awareness campaigns, including mentoring and outreach programs and workshops to help students through the college admissions process. The members also will assist with outcome reports to stakeholders and educational and community leaders.

“By engaging students, parents, and community leaders, we will increase statewide awareness of the admissions and financial aid processes and options for post-secondary education,” Grisham said. “It also is a chance to get great leadership experience while helping others.”

People are sought for the Vista Project in Flagstaff, Tuba City, Monument Valley, Hopi, Winslow, Holbrook, Window Rock and the surrounding area and in Yuma. The Vista Project in Yuma will be in coordination with NAU’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program, also known as GEAR UP.

Members cannot be employed elsewhere, or a current student, and need to commit to an annual contract that provides monthly stipends ranging from $800 to $960. Members are eligible for health care and daycare benefits. A $1,200 payment is received upon a year’s completion in the project. At the end of their service, members also are eligible for a $4,725 award. A Vista Project member can enroll for a total of three years.

For information, contact Melissa Begay, senior program coordinator in Educational Support Services at (928) 523-6982 or e-mail Melissa.Begay@nau.edu.