Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Field Report: New Orleans Outreach

I started off my AmeriCorps VISTA program open-minded and I plan to remain this way throughout my experience.  During the Pre-Service Orientation, I was reminded many times to manage my expectations and not expect to change the world in one day.  So far, I must say that my expectations have been exceeded each day of work.  I am thrilled to work in such a positive atmosphere.  I realized just how much I am enjoying being a part of the New Orleans Outreach team when I continually wake up early (well, early for a recent college graduate) without wishing to go back to sleep because I am excited for what the work day has in store for me.

During Allison and my first week of work when we were being orientated, we made the decision of who would work with short-term volunteers and interns and who would work with the long-term volunteers.  Before the decision was made to how the volunteer supervision would be divided, our supervisors first spoke with us about how the past VISTAs had worked with volunteers.  Since one of the purposes of being a VISTA is to work on sustainability for the organization, figuring out a way to maintain volunteers once there are no more VISTAs at Outreach is extremely important.  I enjoyed the fact that the supervisors asked our opinion of how to divide the volunteer supervision.  I ultimately chose to work with the short-term volunteers and interns. 

With the way we divided the volunteer supervision, Allison and I will get to work at all the schools.  New Orleans Outreach is currently partnering with seven schools.  During the all staff PD, I was able to meet all the site outreach coordinators (who are great!) from each school, and they explained the unique cultures of each school.  This was very exciting to me.  Although working with and getting to know each culture will be challenging, I think I will learn so much.  I realize the non-profit world is a challenging place to work, but I think this is going to be an amazing place for my first full-time job.  – Elizabeth “Betsy” Lopez, AmeriCorps VISTA

Visit New Orleans Outreach, to learn more about the Outreach program and volunteer opportunities in your area

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Notes from the field from the AmeriCorps VISTA team at Tulane University.

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