KCC Spotlight: Amanda Royer

September 24, 2021

Meet Amanda Royer

Amanda Royer is the AmeriCorps VISTA Civic Engagement Advisor within University of Kentucky’s Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement. She is starting her second year in this VISTA position, and in the following interview Amanda highlights some of the favorite parts of her experience so far!

What was your favorite part of serving in AmeriCorps this past year?

One of my favorite parts of serving with AmeriCorps in the KyCC program has been my participation in the KyCC AmeriCorps VISTA committee.  Through working with a few other VISTA members across the state of Kentucky, we were able to start-up monthly, All-VISTA meetings and complete a VISTA recognition project.  Meeting with the KyCC VISTA committee was a ton of fun and I loved connecting with other VISTAs from across the state! 

What was your most favorite part about serving on your site?

One of my favorite parts of serving in the University of Kentucky Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement were all the interactions I was able to have with students.  Through my role as the AmeriCorps VISTA Civic Engagement Advisor, I was able to connect with students as they completed internships with nonprofit organizations.  Being able to facilitate the connections between my students and the nonprofit community was an awesome experience, especially since I was able to watch as my students’ passions for their work grew and developed.  

What project did you enjoy the most this past year?

One of my favorite projects I completed this year was launching UK’s new Cornerstone Community Innovation Partnership.  Through this partnership, Lexington-based nonprofits are given an office space on-campus so that they are truly an embedded part of our University community.  Our Inaugural Community Innovation Partnership connected three organizations directly to campus, and I have loved the opportunity to connect with each of them.  This program also allows students easy access to service, as the opportunities are brought right to them on campus.   

What skills did you learn during your year of service? 

Throughout my year of service, I was able to develop and strengthen many new skills.  One of my most useful skills I developed this year was learning how to successfully design a Service-Learning Toolkit for faculty using Adobe InDesign.  I was able to teach myself how to utilize a new program and the product I created will be a great resource for faculty as they start new service-learning courses, or just revamp the ones they currently teach. 

Your proudest achievement? 

One of my proudest achievements over the course of my VISTA experience this year has been making a positive impact on the students I work with.  Many of the students I have worked with through the various internship programs I supervise, have expressed that their nonprofit internship experience has impacted them both professionally and personally.  The relationship I was able to build with each student has been amazing and I am very proud of what each one of them has achieved. 

What do you want to do after serving? 

Currently, I am trying to decide if I would like to stay in higher education, or if I would like to make the switch to working in the nonprofit sector.  In whatever role I take on next, I hope to inspire a love of civic and community engagement in everyone I meet.  I want to have a positive and meaningful impact on everyone I work with, and I look forward to how this impact presents itself. 

What do you want to impart to future VISTAs?

I would suggest that current and future VISTAs embrace all the opportunities that come their way through their VISTA service.  I hope that future VISTAs are able to learn more about themselves and make positive social changes through their year of service. 

What is your favorite hobby? 

I’m still learning what having free time is like, but I do enjoy being outdoors through hiking and hammocking.  When I am not outside, I enjoy reading a good book or taking care of my 30+ house plants.  I am also teaching myself to crochet.   Finally, I volunteer with a local Lexington nonprofit organization 2-3 days a week, so I stay pretty busy!