Hey everyone! I can’t believe we’re nearly ten months into our year of service! What an exciting year it’s been and still so much to look forward to. As this journey starts to draw to a close, I’ve been taking time to reflect on all of the immensely rewarding opportunities and experiences that have been presented to me that I never would have had the chance to endeavor on without becoming an AmeriCorp VISTA. During my time serving under the Michigan Nonprofit Association I have gotten the chance to work with the country’s leading dropout prevention program, Communities In Schools.
I have been given the chance to give back in my home town area of Lansing in three different schools; Attwood Middle School, North Elementary and Willow Elementary School. . My role has been to expand the presence of Communities In Schools not only within the schools but within the community. I have accomplished this by building sustainability within existing programs, developing new programs and services, and building partnerships. I have developed food assistance programs, after school programs, set up clothing closets, recruited volunteers, organized and run volunteer work days, gathered in-kind donations, and so much more. I have grown so much over these past ten months, not only on a professional level but on personal levels as well. I’ve developed many useful skills that I will carry with me after this and implement in future positions as I continue my career.
Because of our team efforts, CIS will be expanding next year into two more schools around Lansing which is great news for the city! This means that nearly 1500 more students will be able to receive the services and benefits that we have worked so hard to develop and provide. This also means that my position will be changing from being a “float” between three schools, to moving to Sexton High School full time in the fall. The same basic key principals of my position will still apply, they will just be used in more focused, concentrated efforts directed at the one school. I know that this position will bring many new experiences and obstacles to overcome; however I’m looking forward to the challenge. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!