Thanks for the times you’ve given us. The memories are all in mind…. Your once… twice… two times an Arizona Serve AmeriCorps VISTA…

While it may not be as chart-topping of an idea as the Commodores’ “Three Times a Lady”, it can be safe to postulate that Joelle Zuberi’s impact on the lives for whom she has served in Arizona outshines that of the song which helped catapult Lionel Ritchie to eternal fame.

So… What’s the Deal with That Ohioan?

Truth be told, Joelle is not native to Arizona, but her service-learning as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Arizona Serve has found her a new home. Originally hailing from Columbus, Ohio, the ‘The Ohio State University’ Air Transportation graduate made the transition from being a city slicker to living a life in the cozy hills of Prescott as a Community Liaison VISTA at the United Way in 2020. There, she was the ‘Local Continuum of Care Coalition Lead’, addressing Yavapai County’s homelessness through a variety of activities, including coordinating meetings on behalf of the Arizona Department of Housing with local stakeholders, such as: law enforcement, non-profit leaders, mental health services, and other community leaders. 

Are They Livin’ It Up in the Hotel Congress?

In July 2021, due to her positive experience as a VISTA and wanting to address needs with an international focus, Joelle made it back to the city to start her second stint as an Arizona Serve VISTA, taking her talents to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Tucson as their Volunteer and Development Specialist. 

And this position has kept Joelle quite busy, as it is a very active time for the IRC. Joelle has been at the front of their recruiting and placing community volunteers to assist with their COVID-19 and refugee resettlement work, both at the office and out in the community. One such successful program was its COVID-19 vaccine drive which took place both August 15th and September 5th. Joelle helped bring in volunteers to help with setting up, distributing resources (i.e., donated clothes and school supplies), and helping those who arrived for vaccines – mostly of which are resettled refugees – navigate through getting their shots.

Joelle also served as the proverbial ‘face’ of IRC – passing out stickers sporting the face of the organization’s founder, Albert Einstein – at the three-day festival ‘Tucson Meet Yourself’, where she was able to enjoy local food and art while enthusiastically connecting a diverse group of people to volunteer opportunities in Tucson through IRC.

Smells Like School Spirit

However, all service terms come to an end. After her work at the IRC, unless she decides to become ‘Three Times a VISTA’, Joelle intends to use her character and resume-building experiences and Segal Education Award in the pursuit of a Master’s degree in Social Work. Why social work and not a life in the friendly skies? She feels that her time in the nonprofit world as a VISTA has highlighted the value of working with people one-on-one, and that the skills and public-facing personality she has continued to cultivate during her service will best benefit those in need, especially those who struggle navigating emotional and bureaucratic roadblocks in society.

Her Family’s Got Talent!

That said, in her family, it isn’t only Joelle who has the chops to help those in need! Interesting facts: her sister is a nurse, her father is a medical doctor, and her aunt is a well-known drama actor in Pakistan. So, if you want to continue to experience her family’s talents, take yourself to the hospital and catch her aunt, Laila Zuberi, on Qurbatain: Check both your in-network providers and your local listings.

But that’s neither here nor there… However, what can be said, from Arizona Serve to Joelle, the Air Transportation expert, is: ‘To the end of our rainbow… there’s nothing to keep us apart: Yes, you’re once… twice… two times an Arizona Serve AmeriCorps VISTA.’

What About You?

Wondering what to do after high school or college? For a gap year? Or are figuring out what to do after retirement? Serving as an AmeriCorps member through Arizona Serve like Joelle may be the right thing for you! 

Or do you want to grow your non-profit? Do you need help with accessing or developing non-profit resources? Hosting an Arizona Serve member like the United Way and the International Rescue Committee may be the right start for you!