Media Spotlight on Member: Nate Enright

2015-10-08 / People

Two AmeriCorps Workers at RACDC | | Randolph Herald

 AmeriCorps members, Nate Enright and Griffin Payne will be in Randolph for the next year, working on community projects at RACDC. (Herald / Tim Calabro)

AmeriCorps members, Nate Enright and Griffin Payne will be in Randolph for the next year, working on community projects at RACDC. (Herald / Tim Calabro)

Two AmeriCorps Workers at RACDC

Two AmeriCorps members have settled in Randolph, filling positions with the Randolph Area Community Development Corporation.

Griffin Payne, 28, of Asheville, N.C., and Nate Enright, 26, of Flagstaff, Ariz., began work with the agency this summer.

Both fill positions that focus on community connections and developing community resources in downtown Randolph, work that expands and builds on initiatives the organization is already pursuing.

"They've really hit the ground running," said RACDC Executive Director Julie Iffland.

"We're looking forward to putting some of these things into practice that we haven't been able to. Like a lot of non-profits, we've got a lot more aspirations than resources."

Nate Enright

Nate hails from Flagstaff, Arizona and graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2013.

As Housing and Conservation Mobilization and Outreach Coordinator, Enright is working to update the stewardship plan for the town forest along Prince St.

He's researching alternative uses for invasive plant species, as fuel for a biodigester, or for medicinal or edible uses.

The initiative, if successful, could reshape the discussion about invasive plants, he said, and "serve as a template for land management."

Enright, who lives in Montpelier, has been in the position for a month and sees it as a step toward a career in forestry.

"This position screamed natural resources," he said. Since he first saw the posting online, the job "has just kept growing on me," he said.

The position, which was offered through the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) AmeriCorps, also includes work with the Jocelyn House, mobilizing volunteers and working in housing placement for senior citizens.

He'll be recruiting people for volunteer-days for the town forest, rebuilding interpretive signs and community-use trails.

"Stewardship should be a recreational thing, it should be a community thing," he said.

Griffin Payne

Payne has been hired as Community Development Specialist, working in the areas of downtown development, youth engagement, and communications.

An Asheville, N.C. native, Payne has competed in slam poetry across North Carolina, since graduation from UNC-Asheville in 2010.

He wrote and performed poetry, worked alongside schools for several years. Now, he says, he writes in his spare time.

Payne started with RACDC in August, working to bolster the downtown area and take advantage of the benefits from the state-wide designated downtown program.

He's been meeting with area community, and business leaders and is organizing Randolph's annual Safe and seen Halloween event.

His pet project, he said is a youth advisory board, to allow youth to advocate for programming and economic issues relevant to them.

The position, he said, allows him to incorporate a variety of his interests and goals. He took on the job because it "offered the most space to explore, try different things."

Payne went on, "that's the great story about RACDC: The vision is so big, theres room for all of it."

For RACDC's board meeting on Oct 27, Payne has been organizing focus groups on building community 18-44 and over-65 age groups, to increase engagement among those demographics.

For Payne's part, he's made his presence known around town, frequenting the Three Bean Cafe.

"The welcome's been warm," he said.

Payne applied through AmeriCorps Vista, which focuses on indirect capacity building within communities, while Enright fills a position with AmeriCorps State members, which focuses on direct service.

AmeriCorps provides an education award and benefits and some funding, while RACDC covers a remaining portion of the salary.

Besides the two AmeriCorps employees, RACDC has two fulltime and one half-time employee.

Payne and Enright have revitalized the work that RACDC is doing, said Iffland.

Two AmeriCorps Workers at RACDC | | Randolph Herald

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VHCB AmeriCorps is a program of the
Vermont Housing & Conservation Board.

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