Hello! My name is Abby Isacson and this is my first year as an AmeriCorps VISTA. I am serving at School-to-Career Progressions in Grand Rapids, MI where I get to work with youth through a diversion and school program. The programs teach strong character skills to help further success in communities and the workplace.
I have come into an exciting year as a VISTA because School-to-Career Progressions is expanding its reach by creating an online training for youth, parents, and youth leaders in the community to teach these strong character skills and I have been able to play a vital role in this process.
Through writing a grant I was able to obtain a mobile application that would pair with the online training that is being created. This grant was awarded through GiveCamp GR, which is a full weekend of concentrated time that web and mobile developers bring their expertise to help local non-profits in Grand Rapids that would normally not have the budget for the technology that is being created.
GiveCamp GR was a full weekend that I was able to participate in. I was assigned to a team of developers who gave their time for free and worked over 30 hours from Friday to Sunday. The objective was to create an easy-to-use pocket character coach app that kids could easily access and use to work through their problems if they did not feel comfortable talking with an adult. The weekend was a success because we had a great finished product, but it also gave me a sense of what it takes to create a mobile application which was useful information I was able to bring back to my supervisor.
Along with obtaining an app, I have been able to tighten office procedures, help write a large grant, work on staff outcomes and outcomes for the students we are serving along with many other projects. It seems that each month there is something new, which makes serving as a VISTA an adventure!
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!