My experience after graduating from Saint Michael's College with a BA in Sociology/Anthropology in 2007 has been one of exciting exploration and continued development. I took a "safe" job soon after graduation and found that while I was comfortable, I was also restless and unhappy. This past July I made a decision that was terrifyingly impulsive according to both my own and my parents’ standards. I joined Americorps*VISTA.
As a VISTA, I receive a monthly stipend which places me economically at the poverty line for my year of service. While this was a concern in accepting my position, I couldn’t say no to the opportunity of working at the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program (VRRP). Working as the Family Literacy Coordinator for the VRRP has proven to be one of the best decisions I could have made at this point in my life. I am learning invaluable skills such as grant writing, curriculum building, volunteer outreach and organization, and even teaching. Living at poverty level isn’t easy, but it certainly helps me relate at some level to the clients I see every day.
Rather than sitting discontentedly in a cubicle, I am excited to go to work each day. I am excited knowing that while I have no idea what the end of my year as a VISTA brings, so many doors have opened for me along the way and the experience has been truly amazing.