Engaging OSOT/PSO Activities

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After two rounds of PSO Blend, our VISTAs have expressed a lot of frustration with the impersonal nature and technical difficulties of the courses. 

So my co-Leader, Sara, and I want to come up with some activities for us to do with our onboarding VISTAs that supplement the PSO Blend activities and assignments. Sara and I got so much out of both of our classic PSO experiences (VISTA and Leader) and we want to find a way to pass that on to our new VISTAs. 

Does anyone have suggestions on activities that we could do as a group? We were thinking about privilege walks, skills assessments, etc. Any ideas about activities that encourage thinking about poverty, diversity, implicit bias, social issues, etc? As well as— instilling in the VISTAs a sense of comradery and network. 

Thanks! 

(we're definitely going to do a couple of the implicit bias tests from this site:  https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

Aloha Shannon!

I'm a new VL too. What worked in my second VISTA year in Hawai'i were our monthly Training Days every last Wednesday of the month where all the VISTAs got together to participate in professional development workshops or service learning projects. 

I will be implementing this same model with my VISTAs here in L.A. As for specific activities, maybe ask your VISTAs what they would be interested in doing and go from there!

Good luck!

Roan

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Hey Roan, 

Thanks for your response! But I was talking specifically about supplementing the PSO Blend with new VISTAs during their first couple of weeks of service. Getting them oriented to our project and their sites. We have our professional developments downpat. I was just worried about newcomers specifically. 

Have a great day
SC

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I would include a session on project sustainability/community needs assessment. Kapila has a great presentation on this that I adapted for my VISTAs. 

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Hi Shannon,

I'm a new VL in Washington who went through PSO Blend rather than the in-person PSO. I'm trying to get most of my new members into the in-person training but it's likely I'll have at least one PSO Blend cohort, too. Do you have any recommendations for supplemental activities?

Thanks!

Aiden

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I went through Blend. 

There was one aspect that I think was superior to in-person PSO and that is the community profile.  Another Leader that was in Leader training with me agreed.  Here is the link to the entire exercise.  I have the education to know how to dig into Census data, but not everyone has that, so some guidance on how to approach the American Community Survey might be helpful.

Blend does not provide the venue to do role playing or team building and I think that is pretty important. 

I was by myself after Blend, and I leaned very heavily on this platform to stay connected.  The resources are excellent and it provides a way to connect, so I think new VISTAs should have time to explore what is here, regardless of PSO type.  Connections can be taken off-line by phone and e-mail, and also transferred over to LinkedIn.

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