Our Leadership Team
Natalie Keane, a recent cum laude graduate from the College of Saint Benedict has joined the Office of Experiential Learning & Community Engagement as the CSB Community Kitchen VISTA. Natalie graduated in May 2013 with a bachelor's in Philosophy, pre-medicine pre-professional track. She is also a member of CSB/SJU's chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Academic Honor Society. While a student at CSB, Natalie was very active in the Sustainability Alliance which inspired her interests in environmental, social, and economic sustainability and justice. She was also selected to present her philosophical work at the Prindle Undergraduate Ethics Symposium at DePauw University Spring 2013, where she participated in discussions of environmental ethics with a group of scholars nationwide.
Natalie relishes her experiences during her four years at the College of Saint Benedict, especially in regards to her opportunity to study abroad in Cork, Ireland and sing with CSB's women's a cappella group. Natalie is excited to headline the CSB Community Kitchen Program and to serve our surrounding community with quality and nutritional meals. If you see Natalie around campus, please feel free to say a quick, "Hello" or ask her about the program.
AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Authorized in 1964 and founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965, VISTA was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993. VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for more than 45 years (Corporation for National & Community Service).
VISTA members commit to serve full-time for a year at a nonprofit organization or local government agency, working to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses, strengthen community groups, and much more. With passion, commitment, and hard work, VISTA members both create and expand programs designed to bring individuals and communities out of poverty (Corporation for National & Community Service).
The Initiative Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Little Falls that aims to improve the quality of life in central Minnesota. At the core of their work is the belief that local people possess the talent, passion and ability to achieve a brighter future. Their programs and investments strive to give every person an opportunity to contribute to a shared vision and plan of action that strengthens community character and relationships (Initiave Foundation).
As an AmeriCorps VISTA sponsoring organization, the Initiative Foundation oversees the recruiting, placement, training and supervision of 20 VISTA members across central MN. Host sites interview and select their own VISTAs from a pool of local and national candidates. In 2012, the College of Saint Benedict became one of these lucky VISTA host sites for the first time in its history, a new tradition that the Office of Experiential Learning and Community Engagement hopes to continue (Initiave Foundation).