WRI has brought on two AmeriCorps VISTA members for the coming year in conjunction with its Municipal Planning & Prevention efforts throughout South Jersey: Athena Choyce and Brianna McKenzie. Through their role as AmeriCorps New Jersey Campus Compact VISTAs (NJCC), Athena and Brianna will focus on capacity development efforts in their respective municipalities.
Athena has a Masters in Communication from the University of South Florida as well as a Bachelors of Social Science from Clarkson University, and works with the Cumberland County Positive Youth Development Coalition (CCPYDC). She assists County Breakout Group with the establishment of policies and initiatives aimed at reducing juvenile delinquency and promoting positive youth development. Athena will also working with the Station House Adjustment and Youth Employment Sub-comittees during her time with WRI. Prior to joining the Institute, Athena worked in higher education and with municipal governments; she enjoys cooking, crafting, and spending time outdoors with her family.
Brianna is a recent graduate from Hartwick College with a degree in Political Science and works with the Burlington County Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Policy Board (BCJDPPB). She partners with Willingboro and Pemberton Twp. Municipalities as they establish policies and initiatives aimed at reducing juvenile delinquency. Before she came to WRI, Brianna interned with the Chattahoochee Public Defenders Office. In her spare time she loves to bake and explore new areas. She recently relocated from Georgia, and is looking forward to everything New Jersey has to offer.