In July the CCSR WSU VISTA Fellows Project recognized the first four VISTAs who completed their year of service in July. The year of service profoundly impacted each one of the VISTAs.
Danny Barrera served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Circles of Hope program through Peace Connections, in his hometown of Newton. Through his VISTA service experience, Danny was impacted by the positive changes happening to the people who were being served. Danny entered service with the intention of pursuing a graduate degree post-service, but was debating between a Master’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Social Work. As a result of his VISTA service experience, Danny started coursework at the University of Kansas this month.
|Austin, Chloe, Katelyn and Danny|
The hands-on experience Austin Burke received with the Public Health Initiatives team at the WSU Center for Community Support and Research (CCSR) provided him with the skills to get a technical assistant position in research for Social and Scientific Systems in Raleigh, North Carolina. The research team he was hired to work with is involved with a GuLF study in public health through a contract with NIH. https://gulfstudy.nih.gov/en/index.html. This ties into the hands-on experience he received at CCSR working with local health department to help them become accredited, along with researching what is happening with community health workers across the state.
“My experience as a VISTA directly assisted me in getting the job, said Austin. “I had a diverse and valuable year that set me apart from other candidates.”
Before Katelyn Hilger started as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Communities in Schools Wichita/Sedgwick County she was considering several paths including medical school and Seminary, among other things. Following her experience of tracking donor data, recruiting volunteer mentors and compiling resources she applied for a position at COMCARE of Sedgwick County as a crisis case manager with the Community Crisis Center Emergency Services hotline. She is now working in that position.
A VISTA with Rainbow’s United, Chloe Stevenson said, “I originally went to college with the intent of graduating early and going to hair school. When I didn’t graduate early, I changed my plans after graduation and decided to try marketing to see if it was worth pursuing rather than cosmetology school.”
Through her year of service on the development and marketing team at Rainbows, she commented that it became clear that marketing was a great fit for her and she wanted to pursue the field further. In Chloe’s position she had the opportunity to network with members of Rainbow’s Board of Directors. It was through connections she made that Chloe was hired as a brand coordinator with the advertising agency, Apples & Arrows in Wichita.