Hello again everyone! This is my second and my last VISTA blog to everyone.
First off, I want to say, where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday, I was first starting at my host site and still stuck in the cloud of confusion. It has now been approximately 10 months since that day and I am planning my Legacy Binder. It always seemed like this day was forever away but now it is approaching quickly.
With thoughts of our End of Year Celebration filling my head, I am getting excited to see everyone once again and I am a little saddened by the realization that we probably won’t be getting together again like this. Fear not! The friendships that we have forged will last a lifetime! I have already made many new and wonderful friends while making millions of memories that will never be forgotten.
Though my time as a VISTA is winding down, I am still constantly busy at my host and community partner site. At Jackson College (JC), I am continually helping out with the frequent New Student Orientations (NSO) that prepare incoming students to be successful during their academic careers here.
Since high school is out for the summer, I have begun to spend some of my days at the College and Career Access Center (CCAC). Ever heard of Summer Melt? No, it isn’t when your ice cream melts into a gooey mess. Summer Melt is the drop in numbers of students who say they are going to enter into a college (or any post-secondary) institution. Oftentimes there is a difference between how many students say they are going to attend and how many students end up attending. My goal is to see which students are at risk of falling prey to Summer Melt and then guiding them so that they stay on track.
One of my favorite parts of what I have been doing is seeing some students go full circle. At Northwest High School (NWHS), I worked with students on their individual plans for post-secondary education, why they should continue their education and assist with scholarships. At CCAC, I get to help file the dreaded FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). FAFSA causes much confusion since it requires various tax information and social security number from both students and parents. At JC’s NSOs, I am easing students’ transitions into college. I work with both traditional and non-traditional students so I see a variety of concerns. It is the little things- some students I have been working with since August at NWHS and now they are attending JC in the fall.
Just as these students move on to new things, so shall we. In a few weeks, we will be doing whatever comes next. For some it will be another service term, for others new employment, and some maybe going back to school themselves. I may not know exactly what comes next but I do know that I have learned a lot and have many friends who will be with me in my next steps.
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!