Hello! I’m Caitie Fey, and I’m a first year VISTA serving at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan with the OU-Pontiac Initiative. I am finishing up my service this month with a lot of exciting projects!
For my VISTA Year Initiative (VYI), I created and delivered several hours of lessons and activities about wellness and mindfulness to Project Upward Bound’s Summer Academy scholars. I really enjoyed creating and facilitating my VYI because I was able to gain experience in talking with high school students about mental health issues and wellness strategies that they can use to cope with stress, anxiety, and general unhappiness. As a future counselor, it was useful to gain this experience and insight on how students react to certain exercises and discussions. I was happily surprised that they were so interested in the material and willing to participate!
This Summer has been full of successful events! In June, I helped the Pontiac Promise Zone Scholarship organize a recognition banquet for its scholarship recipients. Several previous recipients spoke about how they are giving back to their community. It was inspiring to see so many people excited about the future of Pontiac and its students! This month, PUB hosted its annual Gospel Explosion. The event this year was larger and more successful than it ever has been because of the support from the City of Pontiac. The money raised will be used to provide scholarships to PUB graduates who attend Oakland University.
I’ve also been working closely with the leaders of the OU-Pontiac Initiative to help create a framework for community members to apply for seed funding. I’m excited that community members from OU and Pontiac will be able to apply for $500-$5,000 to fund mutually beneficial projects. We are also creating an informational video about the seed funding program to get OU students and other young people excited about getting involved in the initiative.
Over the last year, I have really grown to feel like part of the OU-Pontiac community. I’ve met some great people who work hard every day to ensure that the future for Pontiac students is bright. Even though I am officially finishing my service, I plan to stay involved in the OU-Pontiac Initiative!