Hello, my name is Lani Gholston and I served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Yavapai Reentry Project (YRP), which assisted justice involved individuals returning to the area, from 2013-2014. I currently work for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) Louisiana State Office. My year as a VISTA reassured me that my passion was more in program management, advocacy and working directly with nonprofit organizations than with clients. It also expanded my horizons on ways to get involved, which has helped me better engage with my community now, not only as a program officer, but as a board chair and as an active member and mentor with the local boys and girls club.
A highlight of my VISTA year was coordinating YRP’s first ever signature event. I ensured the event was developed enough that, even when a scheduling conflict required the event be moved to a date that I would be out of town for, it was still a success without me even being in the state!
Time served as a VISTA helped me realize there were talents and skills I had never utilized and that there was a whole career field I had never explored, but that I was very interested in and adept at. It has also fueled me with a passion for ex offender reentry and has given me a focus on activities outside of my job to focus on that will help my community.