Three Questions for a VISTA

Meet Marina. Marina Mossaad is passionate about equity, volunteerism and systems change. She was born in Egypt and immigrated to the US when she was 5 years old, and after having a transformative VISTA service experience this past year, she is now serving a second year with Open Door Learning Center-Northeast, a program of Minnesota Literacy Council. She is working on strategies to increase adult learner enrollment and retention, diversify the volunteer base and for learners to become volunteers, interns and employees. Marina sat down with us to answer some very serious and thought-provoking questions about life, service and everything else.

How do you see your service impacting the community?

The nonprofit I am partnered with is making a large impact on the community. The Minnesota Literacy Council is doing a lot of good work, namely providing free education for adults. I really see my role as a small part of a much larger machine that’s serving something beyond me. 

What inspired you to become a VISTA?

It was something I had learned about in college. Prior to that, I have always tried taking part in volunteering. Service has always been a large part of my home culture. It’s something I really value, and a huge part of why I work anywhere.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Hmmm that’s a tough one…. It’s probably the times I reach out of my comfort zone to give someone a hand. But those are little things that you don’t really remember. Sometimes it’s helping a stranger carry something heavy, or listening to someone talk about hard stuff. I like that small stuff; it means more to me than something I can put on a resume.

And for a bonus...a fourth question! What is your favorite joke?

Ok this isn’t really a joke, but really sometimes my favorite thing is to just watch “vine compilations” before bed. My good friend and I will just quote them to each other all the time and it never ceases to make me laugh.

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