New VISTA coordinator aims to increase volunteer opportunities

By Derek Devine

Sarah Lapton
Sarah Lapton

New College has officially welcomed its new AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer Coordinator to campus. Sarah Lapton joins the Student Activities and Campus Engagement (SAuCE) team after working for an AmeriCorp program run by the United Way in Colorado during the summer.

Between a new opportunity to broaden her AmeriCorp experience and a desire to help those who need it most, the VISTA position at New College is a great fit for her, especially as a native of Florida.

“When I found the VISTA Volunteer Coordinator position at New College I knew it would be a great opportunity for my career,” says Lapton. “I am passionate about volunteering so I am excited to have that be my role on this campus.”

Lapton’s main focus will be food insecurity. She will oversee New College’s food pantry which first opened in 2018 and is available to the New College community 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“I first learned about food insecurity and the challenges many people face while I was in Colorado during the summer,” says Lapton. “I still have a lot to learn, but I am eager to work with students and provide opportunities for them to get involved with the food pantry.

Lapton will also help lead the charge when it comes to other service learning opportunities for students to get involved in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

“Getting students involved with service learning opportunities outside of campus is really important at New College,” says Lapton. “I hope to strengthen existing connections with the community and build many more so students have plenty of options when it comes to volunteerism.”

SAuCE Assistant Director Jada McNeill, who was previously the AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer Coordinator on campus, will work alongside Lapton when it comes to community service projects.

“The VISTA position is instrumental in creating opportunities for students to volunteer,” says McNeill. “As service learning grows on campus, New College continues to find new ways for students to get involved in multiple capacities.”

Lapton is excited to call New College home for the next year and hopes to make connections that make a lifelong difference on and off campus.

“I hope my passion for volunteering encourages others to volunteer on campus and in the greater community,” says Lapton.

— Derek Devine is the Social Media Manager at New College of Florida.

Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre campus on Sarasota Bay is home to more than 800 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

Inquiries about this article can be made to 941-487-4157 or to email us.

Do you know of an event or story we should share? Tell us about it.


Related News

Campus News

Living well at New College

September 16, 2019

New College of Florida provides an environment and resources to encourage the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle.

Campus News

Alum helping students navigate New College

September 9, 2019

As the new Assistant Director of Student Success Programs,Kaylie Stokes ’16 says she has the opportunity to help students become…

Campus News

Danielle McCalla’s Got the SAuCE

March 18, 2019

Dani McCalla serves as the assistant director of Student Activities and Campus Engagement, known on campus as the "SA[u]CE" office.