By Sofi Kragness, Marketing and Outreach Coordinator, Women’s Programs, RESOURCE, Inc.
When I began my VISTA year back in August, I had no idea that the journey I was about to embark on would change me in all the ways that it has. I have grown as a person, as a friend and as a young professional. Not only have I grown, I have helped others grow as well and that is the ultimate reward. To share in my fellow VISTAS’ successes and failures and to lift those things up as opportunities for growth and learning has been one of my favorite parts of this year. As someone who has had their fair share of successes and failures at their host site, it is always comforting to know that you are not alone and that you ARE making a difference, and your fellow VISTAs will always remind you of that.
One of the added benefits of being a VISTA is that you get to experience and learn so many new things, and you are given the opportunity to do a variety of tasks that no intern or volunteer would normally get to do. For example, I have had the opportunity to participate in the program evaluation at my site, plan a full recognition event for 50-60 people, take the lead on newsletters and social media pages as well as lead multiple workshops for participants. These things have not only helped me build my resume, but have built my confidence and given me the tools to be successful in many different types of jobs.
If you think that this sounds like a lot of work for a little pay, trust me, IT IS WORTH IT. You can do it – you are much more resilient, powerful and resourceful than you think. Plus, being a part of the C3 TwinCities cohort is one of the best places that you can be as a VISTA. They take such good care of you with bi-weekly meetings and trainings, delicious lunches, gas and bus cards, professional development opportunities, as well as infinite support from your VISTA Leader and Program Manager.
In the cohort you will be surrounded by people who are as passionate about social justice, changing the world and making a difference as you are – maybe even for the first time in your life – and it will change you for good, and for the better.