Fighting Poverty with Passion
It’s 2016! At the beginning of every new year I look back at the previous one and reflect. To see ahead, it’s good to look behind. 2015 was a Huge year for me. At this time last year, I was in the middle of my last semester at the University of New Orleans (UNO). After earning a 0.111 GPA for my first year, dropping out for the next two, returning through community college, and two school transfers with a semester break in between, after 8 years, I was graduating with a 3.4 cumulative GPA. My Orientation Leader Supervisor suggested that I become a VISTA.
I’ve now completed five months of my VISTA term. These past five months have opened my eyes up to a part of the world I didn’t know existed. I’ve written in my previous blogs about my experience (or lack thereof) with poverty. However, being a VISTA day to day isn’t always about poverty. The day to day operations (the parts you don’t see in movies) can be very consuming and blind you from the mission. At least that has been my experience. Partly, I believe this is due to my being the first VISTA at my site. I’m helping to lay the groundwork for this organization and for future VISTAs. At times it is deflating because I don’t have the time or security to be as creative and progressive with my position as I’d like to be. When I say security I mean in the organizational structure sense, I have to perform certain duties or the organization will not perform in the future.
Looking toward the future, I have a lot of work to do. I’m a mission man. The mission is to end poverty. My placement can make great strides toward this mission. In order for it to do that, I have to help set the stage and help it grow. I have a lot of ideas that I won’t realize in my work. But the future VISTAs might. And it’s responsibility to leave it to them to continue this organization’s growth.