Since last Tuesday I have been in Los Angeles with 27 others being oriented and trained to supervise a VISTA volunteer. Along with the supervisors, there were 107 of these amazing volunteers… it was a very inspirational experience.
This fall the Community Foundation will have our first VISTA. VISTA is an acronym for “Volunteers In Service To America,” and through this program we will have a new leader for the next one to three years who will help us by leading our initiative efforts. There are dozens such individuals of all ages, but mostly in their 20s, serving “Community and Country” through this national program. Not considered employees, the VISTAs in service are committed 24/7 to helping organizations address our nation’s educational, public safety, environmental, and human needs with a primary focus on helping bring individuals and communities out of poverty. Our Youth Network Initiative, You’N-I, is a perfect fit.
Now that I have completed the training, we can list this position and begin seeking the individual who can work with the Foundation on You’N-I and other emerging Foundation initiatives. Essentially, this position will manage the development and operation of initiative efforts, programs, and processes. The VISTA will plan, coordinate and ensure implementation of initiatives to provide measurable impact in the community in achievement of the Foundation’s primary goals of improving the lives of people in our service area. In accordance with the VISTA mission, the VISTA will focus on initiatives that help reduce poverty. This position will be a great opportunity for a motivated person to really make a difference in the community through resident engagement to address some of our most persistent problems. The Foundation board and staff made a shift in 2013, restructuring our mission, organization, objectives and activities, and committee priorities, to support this new focus; so the VISTA will join a group that has already embraced this important work.
The VISTA program has a national portal to list the service opportunity, and many of our local VISTAs come from places far and wide in the USA. Frequently a local resident is also interested, and sometimes these service positions lead to a permanent position. I’m interested in hearing from anyone who is interested in this position, whether local or not. Skills needed are experience in organizing and conducting meetings, chairing committees, managing multi-organization efforts, and experience in operating community collaborative efforts and consensus building. Please help spread the word about this opportunity to join our efforts here at the Foundation, and pleased join me in thanking all VISTAs for their selfless service to their communities and country.
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