This month’s VISTA Spotlight is Claire Hemme from YouthZone!


Where did you move to Colorado from? 
I moved to Colorado from Charleston, West Virginia.


What is the background behind the organization you are serving with? 

YouthZone’s mission is to provide comprehensive assessment and advocacy to inspire healthy relationships between youth, families, and communities.


Did you go to college? If so, what is your degree in?

I attended West Virginia University until the Spring of 2020. I acquired a degree in Strategic Communications with a minor in Interactive Media and Design.


What made you want to become a VISTA volunteer?

I wanted to become a VISTA member because I feel that AmeriCorps offers so many opportunities to both serve a community, while developing my own professional skills. I spent months sending out resumes and applications with no luck until I finally found opportunity with VISTA. The position I currently have was exactly what I was looking for out of my early career development experience, and I’m incredibly grateful to get to do so in a way that helps such a wonderful organization.


What were you doing before you became a VISTA volunteer?

Before becoming a VISTA member I was living with my parents because my senior year of college was cut short due to the pandemic. I spent this time cooking, making art, foraging and hiking. While taking my graduate photos my best friend told me about an opportunity to come and be a raft guide on the Arkansas River with her for the summer. Two days later I was on my way to Colorado, with no plan, and a tent to live in. A couple weeks after arriving I had my interview with YouthZone and my journey with AmeriCorps began.


What are you looking forward to as a VISTA volunteer? 

I am so excited to work with VISTA here in Colorado. YouthZone’s mission is really special to me, and the fact that I get to live somewhere so beautiful only adds to the enjoyment of this new opportunity. I think that this time with VISTA is going to result in some very significant personal growth, and I can’t wait for the adventures ahead.