Ainsley Schwerr

Recent college grad helps students

Ainsley Schwerr is putting her gap year to good use by helping others. In May, she graduated from Normandale Community College (NCC) and high school at the same time. Hamline University was the next step, but COVID-19 changed everything. 

With her characteristic resilience and positive outlook, Schwerr adjusted her plans. In August, she returned to the NCC campus to work as the Student Resource Center coordinator, a one-year opportunity provided through AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). Schwerr connects students to the resources they need for affordable housing, food and financial assistance.

“It’s the best way to be giving back to the community that helped me,” she said.

This year student needs are expected to increase more than ever. “COVID-19 exacerbated housing and food insecurities,” Schwerr said. In addition to the Student Resource Center, NCC has other programs in place to help. The Campus Cupboard served more than 1,100 students and distributed 19,000 food items during the last academic year. 

Want to help? The Campus Cupboard is funded by campus and community donors. Consider a monetary donation, or drop off non-perishable food items or hygiene products to the front desk of College Services, Room 1180, 9700 France Avenue South. For more information, visit or call 952-358-8119.