VISTA Living

VISTA members and sites

August 21-22

During Early Service Training, 15 of our AmeriCorps Literacy VISTA Cohort gathered officially for the first time. Together we had trainings on:

  • Why Literacy Matters
  • Effective Communication at their sites
  • What’s in a VAD (VISTA Assignment Description)
  • VISTA Living
  • Policies and procedures

Since all work and no play makes for a very long day, we did some team bonding activities!

The new program year for Literacy VISTA is underway! Twenty Literacy VISTAs are now going through on-site orientation, getting to know to their host sites, learning more about the communities in which they will serve and beginning work on their projects. The VISTAs will be serving at a variety of different host sites on a variety of projects, helping Minnesota literacy programs to expand their scale and reach or to enhance their effectiveness in providing high-quality literacy services to low-income communities.

Here is the list of our 20 Literacy VISTA host sites and a brief description of each host site's goal for its 3-5 year VISTA project.

American Indian OIC

Goal: To increase the number of American Indian OIC adult basic education students who attain their GED. The VISTA’s work will be twofold: 1. Examine barriers that prevent current students from attaining their GED and develop solutions to mitigate those barriers and 2. Expand the visibility of AIOIC’s ABE program so that other programs that provide services to similar populations will refer their clients to its campus to attain their GED.

Anoka County Library

Goal: To offer new programs for children, from cradle to graduation, focusing on youth who are not library users / lack library cards,  who are living in poverty, and/or face barriers to library use. The VISTA project will identify programs that can be impactful and sustainable in multiple libraries within the Anoka County Library system.

Our St. Paul CLUES VISTA shared with us what she's learned from service. ‪#‎americorpsweek‬ ‪#‎vistalife‬
"When I start to feel overwhelmed with how much I have to get done in a given day, I change my perspective and think of how lucky I am to be given this opportunity to independently run a program. I remember that after my year of service is complete, it will take a while to climb my way up the nonprofit ladder and be given the freedom to make as many choices for a program as I have this year."
"The biggest success I have had so far is simply getting to know the students. I feel that a lot of the time, it is easy to focus on numbers, rather than the individuals being helped."
"Give to the max day is coming so we are excited about that. In the next couple of weeks we will know if we will receive a couple of grants we want, and next week we have a fundraiser at the Pizza Ranch for the high school Cultures United Club."
"With VISTA I was able to find a position that is related to a cause I care about, and I’m happy that I get to be a part of that each day."
"I am proud to say that I have learned more about Eden Prairie than I ever believed possible. It has been such an incredible opportunity to have time to dig into the community struggles and strengths."
Michael Peters
This whole year has been me diving into the practical, real world aspect of what I was studying in theory before. I've learned an incredible amount about the politics of education, public schools, and how to work for positive change in a very small community.
I would encourage anyone considering national service to do it. VISTA provides a lot of opportunities for professional development and networking. More than that, however, VISTA is an opportunity to get outside of your comfort zone, see what you are capable of, and to have a positive impact on someone's life.



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