My first year as an Americorps VISTA was an amazing and rewarding experience. I moved to a place I had never lived and started my first extensive experience in the non-profit world. Each month, I learned more about how our community organizations interact and support one another in an effort to end poverty.
As a VISTA member, I served with Yavapai College as the Service Learning Coordinator. Service Learning is the amalgamation of civic engagement and coursework to instill a tangible sense of how classroom work is related to volunteerism.
Meeting with organizations in Prescott and throughout Yavapai County, I realized the best part of my job was being able to interface with students and faculty on campus and to link them with worthy community organizations. Students have multiple avenues for service such as volunteering at local schools, working at the humane society, and improving our national parks throughout environmental stewardship.
A common thread resonates with everyone involved with Service Learning...a passion to combat poverty and improve quality of life through civic engagement. Students come to realize the value in serving your community and community organizations are grateful for the helping hands!
Part way through my year as a VISTA member, I thought to myself, how can I continue to pursue a career in service? I knew I wanted to stay in Arizona because it’s where I was born and where my mom’s side of the family lives. I also love living here and enjoy the community support of all the nonprofits we have here around the state and particularly in Yavapai County.
The VISTA Team Leader position seemed like a perfect fit. It would allow me to continue doing what I love and to mentor and encourage new VISTA members in their projects.
Continuing my service not only allows me to develop my own personal growth, but will enable me to see a new team of VISTA members experience the same satisfaction that I felt throughout my year.
This valuable work we do as VISTA members is a tremendous asset to the community, and this is why I continue to serve.