VISTA Spotlight

"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."
"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.
The kids attending the program have been my absolute highlight during my year of service. I have learned a lot from the community of youth that I work with. They are inquisitive, generous, and bright young people with so much potential. I wish for them all to follow their passions and live to their potential.

I am currently serving at the University YMCA with the Y Mentors: Literacy Mentors program. This year I have been working a lot of program sustainability and helping the students take ownership of their program sites and curriculum. The second half of the year the students have been running the program on their own as a trial run before they are actually on their own. I am also creating a manual both on google drive and eventually in a binder to pass on to them.

Lianna, tell us one fun activity for a VISTA-friendly budget:

Alana Peck

I’m Alana and I serve in the Multilingual Department (MLD) in the Minneapolis Public Schools.  One thing I’ve learned this year is that visuals are really important!  The infographic included is a great overview of my project and also is an example of one of the presentation tools I’ve been experimenting with recently.

Alana, What’s your favorite part of being a VISTA?

I am Eliza and serve in Ely, Minnesota at the Ely Community Resource. Our goal is to connect the community through activities and positive youth-adult relationships. I am working on a database organization of the participation in our programs and work closely with the Washington Elementary School.

Learn about Jocelyn Pickreign's VISTA project at the Somali American Parent Association (SAPA) in Minneapolis, MN!
Meet Laura Moulton, Literacy VISTA serving at CLUES in Minneapolis as the Children's Program Coordinator!

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