Happy Holidays…VISTA Style!

By Leanny Prieto, Bilingual Education and Economic Development Specialist at Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC)

I have never participated in an “Ugly Sweater Contest”, so when I was told to find the ugliest sweater possible, I went straight to Goodwill and found the perfect one.  I was so sure I could win…that is, until I walked into our VISTA Office and saw how seriously unattractive everyone’s sweaters were.

The cohort having fun together and exchanging gifts

The cohort having fun together and exchanging gifts

Even though I had some stiff competition and my chances of winning the contest were extremely low, I could tell that it was the beginning to a very fun day at the cohort holiday party. The party was a great way to end a busy week and introduce the holidays.

I loved every second of the day, the activities were so much fun. Cohort members gave diverse and informative cohort presentations, ranging from religion and community wealth-building to music and food. We also shared the significance of the three items everyone brought for the “Life in a bag” activity.

Of course, we gave each other presents. Every activity helped us get to know each other a bit better, and that made the day even more remarkable.  It was a day meant for fun, where we could take a mini break from our VISTA duties and just relax.

Professional development Fridays are always exciting, but this time it was a bit more special. We bonded, which is important since we will be working together for seven more months, but also because we are building friendships that will last much longer. Four months into our year of service and we already feel like a family. So, with that being said…Happy Holidays from the 2015-2016 the Phillips VISTA Cohort! ☺

The cohort in all their ugly sweater glory!

The cohort in all their ugly sweater glory!