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Date of Publication: 

MDCCC AmeriCorps VISTA Member to
Help Launch Financial Literacy Initiative

for UDC Students

Lucy DiazJuly 7, 2014, Washington, DC – The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is delighted to welcome Ms. Lucita Diaz, who will serve as the new Coordinator for the “Financial Literacy-to-College Access & Success,” an initiative that falls under the Office of the Provost and will be based in the School of Business & Public Administration. This project is the result of a partnership between UDC and the Maryland-DC Campus Compact (MDCCC) AmeriCorps VISTA program. Ms. Diaz, an MDCCC AmeriCorps VISTA member, will help continue the development and implementation of a three-prong endeavor, including:  (1) Establishing a Financial Literacy curriculum that can be implemented through Freshman Orientation and other courses; (2) Developing and implementing a “Financial Literacy Workshop Series” that will be offered to all students throughout the academic year.  Finally; and (3) Recruiting and training those UDC students completing the workshop series who will be help spread the knowledge in presentations on financial aid to local high school students, in collaboration with College Summit, a local non-profit organization.  The program, anchored by a community-based learning experience, is intended to increase student enrollment and retention rates, as well as improve the quality of life for other residents in communities from where many of our UDC students come.   

VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) is a national service program created by President John F. Kennedy in 1965 for the sole purpose of fighting poverty in America. In 1993, President Bill Clinton incorporated VISTA into the AmeriCorps network of programs. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) provides Ms. Diaz with a small living allowance for the year-long assignment, and UDC is supplying other resources needed to develop and implement the program.  The project evolved from UDC’s membership in the Maryland-DC Campus Compact, a region-wide higher education association comprised of the leadership (Presidents and Provosts) from area colleges and universities. These institutions are committed to bringing the resources of the academy to bear on community issues, both locally and globally through sustainable partnerships with their communities. The project is largely supported by both Maryland-DC Campus Compact and AmeriCorps VISTA.

Ms. Diaz is originally from Los Angeles, CA, graduated from the University of California, Davis, with a B.A. in Political Science (with a minor in Middle East/South Asia Studies) and is currently enrolled in the UDC Master of Public Administration Program.  Prior to joining the university, Ms. Diaz worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA Community Coordinator with the Los Angeles Unified School District Community Partnership Program.  After her MDCCC AmeriCorps VISTA service, her career goals include working with a public agency to help strengthen the management and structure of policies in education, community development, and health care to bring sustainable change and solutions while serving the community.  To learn more about the Financial Literacy Initiative or MDCCC AmeriCorps VISTA, send an e-mail to Lucita Diaz at or call 202.274.7270.  She is working under the supervision of Dr. Sylvia Benatti, Assistant Professor of Nonprofit Management.  Dr. Benatti can be reached at

AmeriCorps VISTA:

As the only urban land-grant institution in the United States, the only public university in the District of Columbia, and a proud Historically Black College, the University of the District of Columbia ( supports a broad mission of education, research and community service across all member colleges and schools, which include the Community College, College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business and Public Administration, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the David A. Clarke School of Law.

The University of the District of Columbia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. Minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For a full version of the University's EO Policy Statement, please visit:  The University of the District of Columbia is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education - 3624 Market Street - Philadelphia, PA 19104 - 267.284.5000