Where it all started…
Nelda Ault-Dyslin was an employment counselor at the Logan Department of Workforce Services office where she connected families from Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Burma to resources in our community.
Members of the refugee community council, alongside Michael Pekarske, took the first steps to becoming a 501(c)(3) entity after funding for Nelda's DWS position was reallocated.
"Walk-in hours," during which individuals and families bring mail, applications, and other issues to volunteers for assistance began. Riverwalk Apts, the Logan Library, Neighborhood Nonprofit Housing Corporation, CVUU, St. John's, First Presbyterian, Logan City Schools, the ELC and Stevens Henegar all donated space at various times for walk-in hours to be held.
AmeriCorps VISTA members have always been a main source of energy for CRIC's development. Michael Pekarske was the first VISTA, following him, Luz Maria Carreno served 2 year-long terms as the CRIC VISTA working with refugee youth and Logan City School District.
With the help of community members with law and nonprofit development expertise, Nathan Hult and Bryan Dixon, CRIC received nonprofit status on January 27, 2015. Nelda was chosen to be the first board president.
Julie Taquin was the next AmeriCorps VISTA to serve at CRIC. She helped professionalize CRIC's procedures, and created regular cultural information sessions for the general public. At the end of her VISTA year, she became CRIC's first paid employee and launched the Neighbor Program.
Once Julie's VISTA year ended, Melissa Brimhall was the next VISTA at CRIC. She formalized CRIC's volunteer program that now extends past weekly walk-in hours to a drivers license study group, a citizenship study group, a community garden and monthly orientations. Melissa's VISTA term has ended and she is now the part-time Volunteer Coordinator.
Mackenzie Bowcut is the newest AmeriCorps Vista.