Fighting Poverty with Passion
Adding up the Experiences
During my time here in Minneapolis I have served as a Community Engagement Coordinator, where my job was to seek out community organizations looking to partner with the universities, potentially host service-learning students, as well as assist in increasing service-learning capacity and awareness. I have served as a Living Room Host for the Redeemer Center for Life, where I operate a center that allows community members to use computers for business and personal use and also to get a hot lunch while there. I have served as Redeemer’s Christmas Store Santa Claus where I gave candy to all the good little boys and girls. I have served as grill master for the community’s weekly summer cookouts and block parties, I have served as a host and tour guide for my Community Engagement Scholars Northside Tour–that I planned with some assistance from my coworkers. I even managed to squeeze in some time to coach a 13u baseball and a 9u Coaches pitch baseball team. I would say I have been a busy boy!
The reason I mention all this is to say that Americorps VISTA, no matter where you serve or what your project is, can be a rewarding experience. It’s all about what you make it, what you’re willing to do to help your project succeed, and what you’re willing to do to make your time wherever you are an enjoyable experience. I’ll have to admit I didn’t always enjoy my time or the weather here, but it’s about surviving the bad to get to the good. Being congratulated on a job well done is worth the hours you work and arguments over ideas. Seeing little kids smile at you because you’re Santa or because they learned to play games on a field they never thought they would play on is worth every second that you’re away from home. Its all about the experiences–enjoy them while you can!
-Terrance Scott, TNVNet VISTA, Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center