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"The Facts Of Life" By Taitiana Allen

                             VISTA Taitiana Allen at her office at Pima County One Stop. 

                             VISTA Taitiana Allen at her office at Pima County One Stop. 

Having the ability to find the good in the bad, the happy in the sad is merely a fact of life. I am rounding up my sixth month of service in Arizona Serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Pima County One Stop and I am finding that the phrase rings more and more true. In all phases of life nothing goes perfect, but in the bluntest of terms when it is a piece of someone’s life, be it educational, financial, etc. you want to make things easier not harder, which does not always happen.

For the first four months of my term I mostly dealt with adults and worked on my own, which are two things I find myself very proficient in, but it would not be  AmeriCorps if you were not challenged in some way, shape or form. In my fifth month of service I was partnered with eight  Arizona Serve AmeriCorps State members to help complete my initiative of Pledge-A-Job, a project to help graduating seniors find entry level job positions to help circumvent the generational poverty most youth in Pima County face. This also led to me finally entering the school phase of my initiative, something a business major in college truly knows nothing about. I had to learn a multitude of things in a short time, things I do not think I properly prepared myself for: dealing with the politics of school, how to communicate with youth, understanding that the business world and the education world really do not have much in common, as well as supporting the people who are looking to me for guidance and input. “Overwhelmed” I do not think is an adequate word to describe how I was beginning to feel.

It is now two months later and I have had my fair share of downs, but I have also had more ups. I am learning how to better adapt my previous practices for the next school year, I am learning how to communicate acrosss different age groups, how to talk those of varying economic status, and how to lead. These are skills that if I had not been open to the experience and the probability of failure I do not think  I would have  learned at my relative young age. Of course there are things I wish I had done differently, but the main objective is to learn from it so it does not to repeat itself. Most of all, I remind myself that I have everyone’s support, because without the support of my co-workers and the Arizona Serve team I am not sure I would have been as successful as I have been during the course of my year. 

Published on June 10, 2016 by Spencer Brown.

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