Fox Cities Habitat currently has three AmeriCorps members serving with the organization. Two AmeriCorps VISTAs are serving in our Development & Communications department and one in our Volunteer Services/HR department; our third member is serving as an AmeriCorps National with Construction Services.
Meet Adam, a recent graduate of UW-Oshkosh, who is currently working in our Development & Communications department.
What do you do in your VISTA position?
I currently work in Resource Development and have a wide variety of roles that keeps my position dynamic. I started out assisting in research and data analysis on donations and gifts given to Habitat in order to identify how we can better connect with our donors. Since then, the research and analysis has evolved into large projects that assist in funding some of our largest events. I also reach out to the community to help build partnerships for faith related builds and events.
Why did you choose VISTA?
I choose VISTA because, like many other recent graduates, I wanted something that could provide me with valuable life skills while allowing me to leave an impact on my community. Working with the community I grew up in was something that VISTA offered that was hard to find with other jobs I had been working with around the area.
Favorite part of AmeriCorps VISTA?
Being able to use the skills I learned at my university to strengthen the community I live in. I currently work in Resource Development and have to use a wide variety of research and analytical skills I learned when I was a student at UW-Oshkosh. Additionally, I have many opportunities to do outreach and build networks and partnerships with various organizations.
What was a memorable time during your service?
My most memorable moment time during my service would have to be around one month from when I started. We were running our first Rock the Block®, an event where Fox Cities Habitat undertook home improvement projects for an entire neighborhood during one week. Seeing the excitement and reaction from the community in combination with the before and after results really showed me what Habitat is truly about. I often think back to that moment when I think about my service with VISTA and why this position needs to exist.
Each month, current AmeriCorps VISTA members meet for “VISTApaloosa”. The morning focuses on goal setting, personal development and life after AmeriCorps. Over lunch, the members meet with a member of the community to learn their experience with the non-profit and the afternoons are spent touring another housing non-profit to learn about Habitat’s role in the community.
How VISTApaloosa is helping you develop and with life after AmeriCorps?
VISTApaloosa is simply one of the best benefits of being a VISTA with Fox Cities Habitat. It provides opportunities to step back from your work and discuss how your experience can be altered or improved to match your development. It also provides you with resources and advice on how to deal with life related matters, such as budgeting and time management. Most of all, it provides an opportunity to get first-hand knowledge of how Habitat works with other stakeholders in the community through monthly tours.
What would you tell others about your experience?
AmeriCorps VISTA is unique because it emphasizes you to take initiative. A lot of the service is centered around you and your work ethic rather than being micro-managed. There are challenging times, but ultimately you learn and witness valuable moments that teach you how the non-profit world operates.