Hello, my name is Suzanne Melin and I am serving as a VISTA at Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids. Over the past couple of weeks I have been reflecting a lot on my past year of service. When I graduated from college, I put so much emphasis and pressure onto what my next step in life would be. I was so nervous that I would start myself on a path and become stuck in a line of work and end up not being passionate about it. Thankfully, this was not at all the case here. Becoming a VISTA was such an amazing transition out of school and into the workforce. I remember the anxiety of the application and interview process; I was so eager to join a group where I felt passionate about the work I was doing. I was so well supported from the start to finish of my service. I remember emailing my VISTA Leader what felt like an annoying amount in the first few months, asking questions constantly. Every time, I was emailed back so quickly and guided so graciously through the start of a new job. I want to emphasize that even with amazing support, life continued and had its never-ending ebb and flow of struggles, both personal and professional. But I’m confident that without the assistance of MNA’s VISTA Leaders, Program Manager, and my fellow VISTAs I would have given up. Being a VISTA can feel like being thrown into a pool and learning to swim at times, in the best way possible. My skillset and abilities grew and were stretched over this past year and I feel so much more confident about my ability to learn new things outside of the classroom. My host site was very generous and patient with me as I took on some roles I would have never thought I could achieve, but a year later and I feel accomplished and very proud of myself. I have grown both personally and professionally over this past year and eagerly look to the future as I figure out what is next for me. Thank you MNA and Goodwill for making this past year an adventure and a beautiful learning experience!