Up Close with CAP: Samantha Comandini, Thrive to Five VISTA
The Community Action Partnership is Lancaster County’s largest anti-poverty organization, helping low-income families move toward self-sufficiency. CAP’s service profile interrupts inter-generational poverty with programs that support families and individuals at every age and place in life, in the areas of education and child development, health and nutrition, household stability and safety and empowerment.
Thrive to Five (formally Lancaster County Head Start and CAP Child Care) is a birth-5 aligned program that provides high-quality learning experiences for infants through pre-k.
Our services prioritize children and families experiencing vulnerable conditions through differentiated programming that support families towards economic prosperity. We provide home-based and center-based services with extended day options. Our services align with a 2 generation approach of supporting the caregiver and child with escaping poverty.
The merging of 2 programs (Lancaster County Head Start and CAP Child Care) allows our Thrive to 5 program to meet families where they are and provide high-quality education for those meeting income requirements of 100% of the poverty guidelines through 300% with free services funded through federal and state grants (Head Start and Pre-K Counts).
We’re working on showcasing and highlighting various individuals, programs, and the hard work that is done on a daily basis. It’s time to get ‘Up Close with CAP’!
Meet Samantha Comandini, Thrive to Five VISTA
- Tell us a little about your role! What do you do?
I work for the Thrive to 5 team, specifically for the First 10 partnership between CAP and the United Way of Lancaster! Also known as P-3 (or Prenatal-Third Grade), First 10 is a comprehensive model focused on the first 10 years of a child’s life to ensure that children and their families enter school ready to learn and succeed. A joint effort between Community Action Partnership and seven school districts in Lancaster County, known as P-3 Partnership Pathways, is working to change that. Together, they are working with elementary schools to forge deeper partnerships with families and community organizations well before children arrive at kindergarten.
I focus on research for anything educationally related to help build capacity for this program! I also run the First 10 Facebook Page and the Thrive to 5 Twitter account
- Where are you from?
I am from Somerville, NJ but I recently just graduated from Albright College in Reading, PA this past May!
- What do you love about working at CAP?
I love how welcoming and kind everyone at CAP is! The second I started everyone was super helpful and made the work environment so positive.
- Of all the CAP values, which one resonates with you the most and why?
The CAP value that resonates with me the most is collaboration. Working together as a community is the best way to eliminate poverty; we all must work together to help give resources to those that need them most.
- What made you want be a VISTA?
I wanted to become a VISTA to help strengthen the Lancaster community and make a positive change that would be beneficial to real people. After the VISTA program, I hope to get my Masters in Environmental Management or Environmental Policy!
- What do you like to do for fun?
I love to hike, crochet, read, and watch movies!
- Fun fact about you?
A fun fact about me is that I am not the best at crocheting, but I love it anyway!
- How can someone can get a hold of you?
I am mostly easily reached by email! If there’s anything I can help with, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Anything else you want people to know?
I am so excited to be working with the Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County and I can’t wait for what the rest of my service year holds
About the Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County
The Community Action Partnership is Lancaster County’s largest anti-poverty organization, helping low income families move toward self-sufficiency. CAP’s service profile interrupts inter-generational poverty with programs that support families and individuals at every age and place in life, in the areas of education and child development, health and nutrition, household stability and safety and empowerment. For more information, visit www.caplanc.org.
About the AmeriCorps Vista
AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members bring passion and perseverance where the need is greatest: to organizations that help eradicate poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA members serve as a catalyst for change, living and working alongside community members to meet our nation’s most pressing challenges and advance local solutions. They build capacity in nonprofit organizations and public agencies to help them more effectively generate the commitment of private sector resources, encourage volunteer service at the local level, and empower individuals and communities. AmeriCorps VISTA members serve full time for one-year terms.