Hey there! It’s Rachel Blomer and I’m serving with the Wayne County College Access Network. I can’t believe how fast this year has gone by and how little time I have left in my service! Looking back, I know that this was the right decision to pursue. The experiences I have gained here, both good and bad, have been invaluable to both my professional and personal growth.
I’ve learned a lot about myself within the last year working as an AmeriCorps VISTA. I’ve gained skills on how to interact with different types of people in a professional setting, how to network (I’ve never been very good at that), grant writing, and experience with data curation and data analysis. I’ve also realized a lot about myself personally, and this experience has helped shape me into becoming who I am as a human being. That’s a never-ending journey, and I hope to always be able to continue learning and becoming more of who I want to be, while staying true to myself. I believe that I have grown immensely in my maturity and adaptability, and have shown true mettle with my work.
Things are going pretty well with the WCCAN. We’ve had some ups and downs, but I think it will all be worth it in the long run. We really don’t know much about our grant funding yet. This has made us really nervous and stressed, but we should be finding out very soon. I don’t want to go into that much detail, but it hasn’t been an easy process. We received donations from the community when we needed their support and that has been so encouraging to continue with the Network’s plans and goals. Hopefully, we can get the necessary funding to go through with everything we hope to achieve. This has been a really great experience because not everything is going to go smoothly in my career. My time here has shown me how things operate within a non-profit sometimes, and the appropriate protocol to take in such matters. Other than that, everything has been going pretty good. It’s almost time for my VISTA Initiative Project to be kicked into full gear. I plan on doing a book club with Melvindale High School students over the summer. I have everything ready to go like activities, parent permission slips, book list, that kind of stuff. I think it will be really beneficial to the students but also a lot of fun!
When my service year is up, I’m attending the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana to receive my masters in Library Science and Information. Although ending my service year will be bittersweet, what comes after for me is very exciting and I honestly can’t wait to begin my new adventure. I will take with me everything I’ve learned this past year, and apply it to further myself and my goals. I’m very grateful for my time spent with WCCAN, SEMCA, and AmeriCorps VISTA, and I will always be an advocate for the AmeriCorps program.
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!