Fighting Poverty with Passion
December Blog Post – Cathy Harris
This is my first blog of my VISTA life so I suppose I should start by introducing myself. My name is Cathy Harris and I am working at the Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center. I recently graduated from law school and am doing this year of a service to begin my career in public interest work, whether it be legal or not.
I am now about a month into my service and everything is beginning to look a lot clearer. When I first began it was difficult to understand what work I would be doing on a daily basis to accomplish the greater goals. As I have begun my service, however, projects have developed and I have been kept very busy. My overall goal for the year is to increase partnership between Minneapolis Community and Technical College, the University of Minnesota, and Northside non-profit organizations through service learning programs. This goal is important because the increase in connections could potentially allow the organizations access to the vast resources of higher education institutions, increase diversity at MCTC and the U of M, and benefit the community by making the higher education institutions more accessible allowing more Northside students to access college education. More directly, I believe a service learning experience for students on the Northside could completely change their opinion of North Minneapolis, could introduce them to the benefits of public service and could create connections for them that could lead to more volunteer work or possible career opportunities.
So far I have only just begun my work on this project, but already I have had exciting and uplifting experiences. One of the first projects I worked on was helping set up for a Christmas store at a Northside Church where children could buy gifts for their families for a quarter. The pictures below are from that event.