Erica Suchyta came to Habitat after completing her degree in 2009 at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She served as a Community Outreach Specialist VISTA through December of 2011. For Erica, AmeriCorps VISTA was a great bridge from degree to work force with hands on experience in a professional setting.
“AmeriCorps helped me grow both personally and professionally. As a recent college graduate, I gained valuable practical job skills in addition to furthering the mission of the organization. Working with both members of the community and the amazing partner families at Habitat I was exposed to an array of people and situations that helped shape me as an adaptable and well rounded individual.” Erica’s experience helped her venture outside her comfort zone and push to do more. “I always tell people I was allowed to work on projects that I was under qualified to do and it really challenged me in the best ways.”
While Erica enhanced her experience through working with community members and Habitat families, her experience was furthered through the relationships formed with her fellow AmeriCorps VISTAs during her term and maintained throughout her professional life.
”My favorite memory was when a few of the VISTAs and staff members went to Michigan for a statewide HFH meeting and then to Cleveland for a Packer game. It was a long road trip that resulted in some really fun memories. Many of my closest friends are people I met through my time as a VISTA.”
Erica continues to be an advocate for national service programs and encourages others to get involved. “I would tell others that AmeriCorps is a great opportunity for individuals who are motivated and want to make a difference in the world. While the tasks at hand may seem small and insignificant at the time, the projects that AmeriCorps members take part in are really important to the growth of the organization and the impact it has on the community. It is also a great way for members to gain work experience and become exposed to diversity which helps build their resume and confidence in future personal and professional settings.”
During Erica’s time with AmeriCorps VISTA, she was able to work on a special project with solar energy panels on Habitat homes. This opportunity sparked her interest in sustainable energy and helped motivate her to a career in the industry. She now works as a Utility Incentives Manager with Cree.
Do you or someone you know want to learn more about non-profit organizations? AmeriCorps positions with Habitat are opening soon! Head to FoxCitiesHabitat.org/careers for more information.