At this time a year ago, I was going through the bittersweet emotions of graduating from college. However, knowing that I had an awesome opportunity awaiting me in August made the transition a bit easier. I checked out my host site as best as I could and that only made me more excited to start. When I got my 6 page VAD though, things started getting real. It seemed like so much to accomplish in such a short period of time at an organization completely foreign to me.

In a way, it still is overwhelming! I came in with the mindset of “tackling poverty by furthering a youth program.” To me, that now sounds so institutional and devoid of real meaning.  I’ve learned that a job (and especially this job) is much more than the sum of its parts and the tasks you are assigned. I have found intrinsic meaning in so much of the work I do that it makes me want to keep setting my sights higher to improve and expand the reach of the program.  I think my job as an AmeriCorps VISTA is more about working within the boundaries and mission of the position to use my strengths to find and build upon opportunities for others.  Looking at it through this framework makes my goals manageable and attainable, rather than overwhelming.

I can’t say enough positive things about my host site.  The people I work with and the work we do far and away have made my first out of college job experience more enjoyable and rewarding than I ever thought possible.

When I started at my position, I had hoped to learn about myself, personally and professionally, about the Rochester community and its problems and assets, and how I could make an impact on my surroundings. To this extent, I’ve far exceeded my expectations.  I once looked at my end of service as plunking me right back into the position I was a year ago: searching for a job.  But along the way, this job has shown me a viable career path and a guideline for my future.



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