Hey guys, its Shalyn Stack, your VISTA Leader here at MNA in Lansing! I’m rolling into my eighth month as a VISTA Leader and I couldn’t be more proud, tired, overworked, and happy. What we do as AmeriCorps members is hard work, sometimes very hard, but in the end, we’re stronger, our organizations that we are serving at are stronger, and our communities are stronger.
Being a VISTA Leader has challenged me in ways I didn’t anticipate and I am a better person for it. I have grown more in the last eight months (personally and professionally) than I ever thought. As someone who has always been a “big picture” thinker, being your VISTA Leader has given me the opportunity to develop a variety of skills like learning how to be more detail oriented, being a better listener, and how to manage time and projects more effectively. I am thankful to have you all as my VISTAs this year!
My biggest accomplishment so far was planning and facilitating a successful poverty simulation, as well as planning Mid-Year Training. After our Mid-Year Training, Maggie gave both Jake and I thank you cards that said “Congratulations on such a successful mid-year training! I think this was our best training ever and it’s because of the thoughtfulness and hard work that you put into it”. Getting positive feedback on something that Jake and I had worked so hard on for the past few months made it all worth it!
If I could sum up my last eight months as a VISTA Leader in one word, it would be “blossomed”. I feel like I have blossomed into a young professional who is ready to take on the world when she is done at MNA. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes, which has resonated with me throughout my service year.
“The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” - Anaïs Nin
Each blog post is written by one of our program's VISTAs!