Meet VISTA Alum Christian McCleary
What was the highlight of your VISTA service with the Minnesota Literacy Council?
The ultimate highlight of my service was when I became a member of the Council for Black Male Success at the age of 19. I was a part of the council that was allocated 3 million dollars for 3 years to help support African American males ages 11-32 who reside in St. Paul.
How did your term of service help you discover your career goals?
I always had an idea of what I would want a career in, however, my service motivated me to start and finish my college degree to help my chances for a better future and a job. I was able to both work full time and attend college during my service.
How has your experience serving as a Literacy Leader influenced your post-service career pursuits?
After my term of service, I was offered a full time staff position with my organization as a continuation of the service deliverables that I developed and to tend to ongoing projects. I found myself not wanting to leave the literacy council if there were ways to stay connected and volunteer for students in need of services. The experience influenced me mentally and physically because of the grammatical skills I developed and the opportunity to consider more than one way to accomplish something.
Why would you encourage others to serve as a Literacy Leader?
I encourage others to be Literacy Leaders because it is a way to get sense of community, relationship building and secure a sustainable future. Literacy Leaders build skills and empower communities suffering from poverty.