This semester has been quite busy for me, I’ve worked on many projects in partnership some of the underrepresented student groups that are on campus, which include the Office of Multicultural Student Services (OMSS), Students with Children (SWC)/ Peer Mentor Program, and I’m hoping to do an activity with the Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) sometime in April. If this does not work out then I hope to plan an activity with them this fall so that the next VISTA will be able to participate with them. I was also in charge of three projects for the Month of Caring and I also was able to assist with the Career Fair again this semester.
In January, the OMSS office and the Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services (CLACS, sometimes called the volunteer center) collaborated to host a volunteer center open house for Martin Luther King, Jr. week. The open house was intended to help students learn more about what the volunteer center is all about. I invited community partners to this event to share about their organizations and what types of volunteer opportunities were available. I made a display board for the volunteer table that I was in charge of at the open house and passed out information about the volunteer center to students.
In the month of February, I assisted with the Career Fair. It was my responsibility to approve student volunteer applications, to help out during the Career Fair, and to make sure that all volunteers signed in. I also had the opportunity to attend the First Annual Multicultural Student Leadership Conference. At this conference, I was able to attend a series of workshops, panel discussions, and interactive sessions that taught me about leadership skills, communication strategies, financial literacy, and outreach initiatives, as well as personal and professional development skills that can help me as I finish out my VISTA term.
The Month of Caring (March) was my VISTA Year Initiative Project. During the Month of Caring I asked volunteers to go out in the community and perform some act of kindness, whether it was volunteering or gathering items to donate to an organization. During the Month of Caring, I was able to come up with three projects. The first was the Salvation Army campus-wide baby pantry drive. The CLACS office was able to collect diapers and wipes for the Salvation Army and give the donation to this organization. The second project was sponsoring a fleece tie-blanket day. Students, faculty, and staff members were able to participate by making blankets in the CLACS office and donating the blankets to the Women’s Information Services Inc (WISE) shelter in Big Rapids. The last project that I was in charge of was holding a craft and activities day with the SWC/Peer Mentor Program. The craft and activities day turned out to be a huge success! Mrs. GreenBay, the coordinator of the SWC/Peer Mentor Program would like for this to be a monthly volunteer opportunity for her students. All three projects turned out great!
This has been the best 8 months of my VISTA term, and I am hoping to continue another term with this program. I have learned so much along the way and I believe that I am continuing to grow professionally and personally.
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!