I am Kye Bright, and I am a first-year Civic Engagement AmeriCorps VISTA member serving at the University of Michigan-Flint, through the Office of University Outreach. In my role, I work to find ways to engage the University with the greater Flint community. I have a focus on Flint Community Schools through the Community Education Initiative. So much has happened in the past (almost) four months. I don’t even know where to begin.
Recently, I’ve been working on a report for the past month. It’s about 95% finished and it’s over 60 pages. I love to write, but this is just a different level. I have definitely found my inspiration to accomplish my life goal of writing a book. Once I’m finished with the report, my schedule will go back to normal.
A typical week for me is pretty fun. The way that my VAD is designed, it’s expected of me to spend half of my time at the University and half of my time at the Brownell-Holmes STEM Academies campus. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, I spend my day at the University. On Wednesdays and Fridays, I spend my day at Holmes STEM Academy.
At Holmes, I am working with my cohort. We were originally a team with three VISTAs and five service members. Now, we’re a team with two VISTAs and four service members. The service members have various programs that they run, while the VISTAs work on creating programs and opportunities that can utilize our capacity-building skills for Brownell and Holmes STEM Academies.
Initially, I was doing direct service at the school, as it was allowing me to develop relationships with students and staff. Every Friday afternoon, I partake in direct service. My cohort has a Friday Clubhouse, where each of us runs a program that isn’t sports-related. My program is a step team. I took on this opportunity because I will be able to build volunteers to run the program. I intend for those volunteers to be UM-Flint students.
On a community level, I do engage myself in the greater Flint community and the UM-Flint campus community as much as possible. I attend bi-weekly board meetings for Flint Community Schools. I’ve attended campus events. I’ve even worked with a MNA MAC (Mentoring to Access) AmeriCorps member on recruiting volunteers.
I only have one picture of myself during my service term. We’re watching a video from a step show that I’d coordinated. The student is a third-grade student at Holmes. She participates in my step team. She’s a fast learner and extremely creative. She wants to be a DHS caseworker like her aunt.
On my free time, I write in my journal. This journal is specific to my service term. It helps me stay inspired to be awesome and positive. It seems to be my way to take a break from my day to remind myself that there are more important things than whatever has me distracted or unmotivated. Also, I blog it. So if you want to follow it, let me know!
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!