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VISTA Volunteer Spotlight: Emily McCool

Emily McCool is one of David and Margaret’s newest AmeriCorps VISTAs assigned to support the COMPASS Programs as the Social Media and PR Associate. She was drawn to David and Margaret’s mission to empower youth with a history of foster care to achieve independence after working directly with youth with special needs as a behavioral therapist, camp counselor, and nanny. She hopes to use her experience working with a vulnerable population to connect with David and Margaret program participants and share their stories and celebrate their successes. 

Before coming to David and Margaret, Emily earned a degree in sociology from the University of San Francisco where she found a passion for social justice. Through her studies, work, and extra-curricular activities, she realized her desire to serve the community and advocate for their needs. She hopes to use COMPASS social media to not only highlight participants and give program updates but also to provide further resources and information that address the core issues of the community.  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Emily has been working mostly from home, but she did have the opportunity to participate in the Holiday Gift Drop-Off at the Cedar Springs campus where gifts were delivered to individuals in the complex. She also helped out with the Bi-Monthly Food Bank at Dave & Maggie’s Café, organizing and distributing food for the community. On her experience, she says, “I have really enjoyed getting to know the organization and seeing all of the ways that we serve the community. I am excited to see how I can use social media to further D&M’s mission and build an even stronger community for program participants.” 

While the pandemic has restricted the use of the new COMPASS Point Drop-In Center, there is a dedicated team working behind the scenes to adapt programs and address the needs of our program participants. COMPASS social media can serve as a community space for staff and participants while we all have to remain physically distanced. 

“Everyone I work with has been so kind and accommodating through such a challenging time, you can tell that people really care about their jobs and youths they serve,” Emily said about her time thus far at David and Margaret. We are looking forward to the future of the COMPASS Point Drop-In Center and the community it will foster with the help of Emily and all the amazing staff.  

Our Impact This Year

  • Youth & Families Served

    785

  • Volunteer Hours

    1148

  • Youth Internship Hours

    231

  • Housing Provided

    46

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