Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Field Report: Brittany M. Lane

Okay, so…what’s my purpose at the present moment? Right now, I am still being introduced to the community and reintroducing the community to myself. This community that I speak of is North Minneapolis. It is really refreshing to see Northside Minneapolis in another light. My first project has helped me make my reentry into the Northside. The reason why I say this is because this is home to me. This is the place that raised me and gave me such a sense of pride. This project I have been working on is pushing along this reintroduction, I am setting up a spring semester service learning project for MCTC (Minneapolis Community and Technical College)…and oh yeah I got to volunteer for the first time in years!

Cathy Harris (who we’ll just call “My Sanity”) and I are meeting with different community based organizations to find out their capacity for service learning. We are contacting each individual site that may have worked with or has an interest in service learning. So typical meeting involve going to the location as a potential site, meet the coordinator of who’ll be working with the students, ask some questions, get some answers…okay, to keep it simple our meetings are three fold, we are trying to accomplish the following:

  1. Get some face-to-face time, serving as the face of AmeriCorp VISTA, UROC, MCTC, University of MN and as someone who sees the value in working with North Minneapolis.
  1. See if the organization is potentially ready for MCTC service learning student to come during 2012 spring semester.
  1. Receive updated information about the organization since last year in order to add to the already long, long started list by Year 1 VISTAs.

Volunteering is at the heart of being a VISTA. My family was always on survival mode, with not a lot of time to participate in the community. I feel in my heart that it is everyone’s purpose in the world to help His people. By helping others, you will truly in turn help yourself. Me and My Sanity, set up the Christmas Store on Friday, 12/09/11. There were so many items (please see photos). As we worked the event on 12/10/11, just to see the spirit of Christmas through the eyes of kids, it truly rekindled my spirit for this time of year.

I am doing my service to my country because why start across a sea when I can help someone across my city. At my previous position as a paralegal, in a small firm, all I did was assist clients in their own affairs, day in, day out. Of course, I helped people which they were in a time of stress of the legal world. But I wasn’t helping myself grow personally. I was too content with helping others, but little to no benefits to who I was as a person. There was something missing…I am of a certain age and in a certain time where I am searching to find my purpose in this life lol which has been uncomfortable. But a tape plays over and over, I hear what a wise woman said in church, “do whatever feels uncomfortable, because more times than not, it’s what’s right.” When I applied to be an AmeriCorp VISTA….uncomfortable, to volunteer and meet so many people….uncomfortable, to be living at the poverty line….uncomfortable, to receive state benefits….uncomfortable and the list can literally go on. But somehow all of this has giving me so much peace in my mind and purpose to this world, I can barely describe how good it feels to be truly a part of something meaningful.

So let’s rewind…looking above, this is my official expression of my position as an AmeriCorp VISTA. I could not articulate for the life of me why I was chose to be a VISTA or how I even came across From start the week of Thanksgiving to working through Christmas and then the New Year’s…working on my project has been an obstacle. With all the issues that arise, I am so glad most my efforts are to the betterment of my community and myself.


I love N Mpls! 612!

Brittany M. Lane

About Tulane VISTA

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


This entry was posted on January 3, 2012 by in VISTA Field Reports.


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