For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Erik Krieger. During my AmeriCorps VISTA year I will be serving under The LEAGUE Michigan at Detroit Edison Public School Academy (DEPSA) in Eastern Market and when school is not in session over the summer I will relocate to the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA) office in downtown Detroit. Being one of the most recent VISTA’s to start my VISTA year I had partly assumed that this blog post would look more like noise shaped air than an update on recent activity. However, with the school year winding down and teachers eager to complete service-learning projects, I have found myself in a literarily advantageous position with plenty of important words to fill this post.
Although my co-VISTA Maya and I are hosted at DEPSA, much of the work that we do under our VAD is with other school. For instance, Taylor Preparatory Academy wanted to do a day-of-service with their students and asked us to find locations at which to volunteer. With only 2 weeks to complete the task we scrambled to place over 200 kids at volunteer organizations. In the end, all of their students were assigned an organization and the day went off without a hitch. This is just one example of the myriad things we do when working with other schools.
Read n’ Give, sponsored by Crowe Horwath, is a book donation program where we work with community partners and other schools to collect books and distribute them to recipients that need them such as refugee organizations and other schools. This program exists to facilitate literacy and grow the education atmosphere in Detroit. After many hours of sorting, organizing, picking-up and dropping-off, I can proudly say that Maya and I have finally finished disseminating all of the books that we collected for the Read n’ Give program.
Working with Maya has been nothing short of incredible. She started her VISTA year 6 months before me and quickly got me up to speed with the in’s and out’s of service-learning in Detroit. She has been a great teacher and mentor and most importantly a friend. In her, I have found someone who is strong, intelligent, thoughtful, organized, compassionate and has great balance. She has been the ‘cheez’ to my ‘it’.
I am amazed that I am already 3 months into my VISTA year. It is moving by at an incredible pace and I still have so many big plans. This summer will bring lots of changes and challenges while working on Fisher training and Youth Leadership and Service camp. I am looking forward to all that VISTA has to offer me.
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!