Current and Former VISTAs Celebrate the 50th Anniversary

By Bill Gaus, Digital Communications & Engagement Coordinator at RESOURCE

AmeriCorps VISTAs, both past and present, gathered to celebrate the program’s 50th anniversary on Friday, October 30. The gathering offered an excellent chance to share experiences, and take stock of VISTA’s impact on poverty and individual lives.

Former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson moderates a panel of VISTA alumni, including PSEI Alum, Naaima Khan 13-14

Former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson moderates a panel of VISTA alumni, including PSEI Alum, Naaima Khan 13-14

Between speakers, panels, and video dialogues, some lessons emerged. VISTA’s fight a good fight, but it’s a long one. We’ve made progress, but American poverty remains a persistent dilemma. Minnesota isn’t blameless, demonstrated by poverty lines that cling dangerously close to racial lines.

Wendy Spencer addresses the crowd of VISTAs past and present

Wendy Spencer addresses the crowd of VISTAs past and present

The event allowed VISTAs with service terms spanning decades to gather, swap stories, network and engage with our mission of stewardship. National service leaders, including VISTA director Paul Monteiro, offered insight on the impact of VISTA, and painted a picture of poverty in America. With 50 years in the books, it’s clear that VISTAs find fulfillment in their service experience. The 2015 PSEI cohort was proud to join our predecessors and leaders for this chance to re-energize in the fight against poverty.

The 2015 Phillips cohort snaps a picture with Paul Monteiro, National Director of VISTA

The 2015 Phillips cohort snaps a picture with Paul Monteiro, National Director of VISTA