Gordon in the News: last updated 06/09/2009

Gordon In Lynn Community Partnerships Strengthened with Recent Americorps VISTA Grant

June 9, 2009

Jo Kadlecek
Office of College Communications

WENHAM, MA--Two weeks before graduation and on his birthday, communication arts major at Gordon College and Dover, New Hampshire, resident Jon Nystedt ’09 received a gift many graduates hope for: a job. But Nystedt’s career began three years before, first as a volunteer with Gordon in Lynn, then as an intern with the program. During his senior year, he completed his academic requirements as a public relations intern with Girls Inc., a Gordon in Lynn partner organization.

Now, thanks to a grant through the Massachusetts Campus Compact (MACC) as an AmeriCorps VISTA worker, Nystedt will serve full-time with Gordon in Lynn, working closely with the Lynn Housing Authority and further developing its youth programs including the College Bound program coordinated by Gordon in Lynn.

“When Jon started working for us, we began talking about the VISTA,” said Jennifer Brink, Gordon in Lynn’s coordinator of Academically Based Learning, who’d been dreaming of a MACC VISTA grant since she began working in Lynn. “We were excited about the possibility of adding more energy to our staff and of bringing a Gordon graduate into full-time work in Lynn for a year. It seemed like a great way to strengthen our programs, benefit our community partners and ultimately deepen students’ learning opportunities.”

Created in 1997 through a partnership between MACC and the Massachusetts state office of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the MACC VISTA program was developed in recognition of the potential for “institutions of higher education to more responsibly address the local needs of low-income communities and be responsible mechanisms for community change.”

For six years Gordon College has been present in Lynn through a unique campus/community partnership that brings the energy and resources of Gordon students and faculty to organizations at work in Lynn. In turn, students have the opportunity to learn from the diverse community and to engage their studies in local issues. Through the MACC AmeriCorps VISTA, Gordon in Lynn hopes to improve its capacity to link campus resources with more community organizations.  

“Over the past four years I came to feel very strongly about the work of so many great organizations in Lynn, like Girls Inc.,” Nystedt said. “As a result I’ve developed a passion for empowering at-risk and underprivileged youth. I’m excited to learn as much as I can from this opportunity I’ve been given. ”

For more information contact the Office of College Communications at 978.867.4752.


Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore. The College offers majors in 37 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation’s top Christian colleges.