For my capstone project, I worked as a Center Director of a rural county in the central Appalachian region as an employee of Appalachia Service Project (ASP). The mission of ASP is to “inspire hope and service through volunteer home repair in Central Appalachia” and the vision is to eradicate substandard housing in the region and to transform the lives of everyone who comes into contact with the ministry. As a Center Director, I was required to manage the budget, facility, and the overall construction process of the projects in my assigned county. Additionally, I led the three other members of my county staff- the financial coordinator, volunteer coordinator, and operations coordinator- in their positional responsibilities.
As a part of my capstone project, I used the time that I spent immersed in the Appalachian culture to view the unique, systemic issues that the people of the region face through the lens of community psychology, in an attempt to better understand how these issues may be prevented. Community psychology is fundamentally concerned with the relationship between social systems and individual well being in the community context.