AmeriCorps Week, March 8-14, 2020, is a celebration of all things AmeriCorps – from the programs and organizations that make this national service initiative possible in communities across the country, to the members who have pledged to “Get Things Done” since the program’s inception in 1994.
“My time as a VISTA has given me first-hand experience of the challenges of navigating poverty in a resort economy. Last year I piloted a housing counseling program and an employment mentoring program through the Garfield County Housing Authority, and I interacted with people who could be considered very low income to middle income. I was able to gain a very complete perspective on housing challenges in the Roaring Fork Valley, and what became apparent was that affordable housing is a problem for a wide and diverse range of people in this region.” – Bo Blodgett
“What I’ve learned is a life lesson. One, that empathy is important, but it’s also important to see and experience these things firsthand. Two, there are so many ways to help. I was a little anxious about not being able to contribute, but different organizations need different things, of course. Varying knowledge and experiences are valued (and needed).” – Nichole Westfall
“One thing I have learned so far is that equality is not common in communities!” – Carolyn Sherrick
“As an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer I learned how to create, sustain, and manage projects with little to no supervision. My role within my organization was new and not defined. They did not know what they needed – all they knew was they needed help. The opportunity pushed me to be creative, self-motivated, and teach myself a ton of new skills!” – Rachel Baiyor
“I have learned how to coordinate projects on a regional scale with many partners involved.” – Katrina Stevens
“One thing I have learned is that the site supervisor may not be clear on what capacity building is. It is the VISTA’s role to fully understand capacity building and be willing and able to propose capacity building projects and take the lead on starting them and explaining to the site supervisor why it is capacity building and how it will help the program. I have found it easiest to find and start projects and give my site supervisor a brief summary as I ask for approval to move forward with the project.” – Cindy Packer
“One thing I have learned is how to successfully execute tasks and projects with little to no supervision.” – Megan Beirne