Fighting Poverty with Passion
“On November 9, 2009, I began my term of service as the University-College Liaison for Catholic Charities Office of Volunteer Services. Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans (CCANO) offers life-giving programs, advocates for the voiceless, and empowers the poor and vulnerable to foster a more just society. With 48 different programs, CCANO offers various services for children and seniors as well as programs for hurricane recovery. As University-College Liaison, it is my job to determine the volunteer needs of our programs and to recruit and manage service-learning students to meet these needs.
As I am about to embark on my fourth week, I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that AmeriCorps VISTA has given me. Before I began my year of service, I spent nearly three months searching for a job. Time and time again, I was rejected due to my lack of experience in the workforce. AmeriCorps VISTA has provided me with the opportunity to learn and to gain the experience that I so desperately needed. It is not expected that VISTAs will be experienced in their field; instead, AmeriCorps provides VISTAs with many opportunities to learn and to gain professional experience. My supervisor at Catholic Charities is more than willing to teach and to advise me, for she understands that this is truly my first professional position. I am learning many of the skills needed to function in a professional environment such as how to manage volunteers and coordinate meetings. I am ascertaining much of the etiquette of the professional world that can only be gained through experience. In addition to the professional experience that I am gaining at Catholic Charities, AmeriCorps VISTA also provides additional learning opportunities such as grant writing training. Thus, I am so thankful to have joined AmeriCorps VISTA, for not only is it giving me the opportunity to serve my country, it is also helping me to grow in both my personal and professional life.” -Jackie Thornton, AmeriCorps VISTA Member
To learn more about Catholic Charities visit their website at: http://www.ccano.org/program_projects.htm