Q&A with YVC of Manhattan

Manhattan - Full ColorWelcome YVC of Manhattan, KS, our newest Affiliate! While not quite as metropolitan as the Manhattan in New York City, Manhattan, KS, is known as the Little Apple and is home to Kansas State University. We can’t wait to see all that youth are going to accomplish in Manhattan!

Lori Bishop, Executive Director of the new program’s host site, Flint Hills Volunteer Center, gives us a tour of Manhattan and shares her vision for YVC of Manhattan:

Tell us about the Flint Hills Volunteer Center.

Originally named RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program), the program provided volunteer opportunities for individuals 55 years of age and older.  In 2014, RSVP was merged under the umbrella of the Flint Hills Volunteer Center.  This brings a new era to volunteerism in Manhattan by giving individuals of all ages the opportunity to give back to their community.

What is Manhattan, KS, like?

Manhattan is a great place to live and raise a family. It is a transitional community that is home to Kansas State University and Fort Riley. Manhattan offers something for everyone including arts/entertainment, sports, nightlife, children’s activities, dining and more.

What attracted you to the YVC model of youth service?

I have always wanted to take the success of our volunteer program and create an opportunity for youth to give back to their community. I feel it’s important to start at a young age to teach the youth how to become leaders, make wise decisions, and be better prepared to leave high school with a wealth of “real-world” knowledge as they prepare for college.

Volunteering can help open doors for the youth. A structured volunteer program will help them become future leaders. We will be able to document their volunteer hours which could help them in securing post-high school scholarships. Most importantly, the YVC program will develop team leaders, decision makers and more community members will be served.

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Lori Bishop (middle) with YVC’s Paul Marksbury and Alyssa Thiel.

What has been the reaction so far as you’ve announced the new program to community members?

The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Parents and business leaders in the community have asked how to get their children involved.  Many have asked how they can help. I knew it would be well accepted but didn’t realize just how much until people have been learning about it and commenting!

What excites you most about your new YVC program?

I am most excited to introduce a new program to Manhattan. I am looking forward to enrolling students, developing projects, watching them develop as leaders, and sharing their accomplishments with the community. I am excited to see the YVC program develop from scratch and grow to become a huge success!

Why do you think it’s important to volunteer?

A volunteer can learn new skills, make new friends, feel needed, gain confidence, learn more about their community, become active and healthier and help someone less fortunate. The clients receive services needed that would otherwise go unmet. Volunteering is a win-win opportunity.

Join us in welcoming YVC of Manhattan to the YVC family!