• Alumni story
    Marilyn Wilson 1999 2002 Providence

    VISTA changed my life a whole lot. I learned how to work in the community where I lived and see how I helped people get into classes that helped people learn English. It was a valuable experience for me. 


  • Alumni story
    Sheri Whittier 2001 2003 Williamsburg

    My experience as an Americorps VISTA was an unforgettable experience. I will always have a place in my heart for Americorps VISTA. After doing it for 2 years it became a part of me. The people I worked with became like family. 

    I chose project site Big Brothers Big Sisters in Greater Williamsburg, and it was one the greatest experiences of my life! My boss, Richard Mason, was the best supervisor I have ever had. The rest of the staff - Jackie, Andre, Kim - I will never forget any of them. They helped me learn the ins and outs of working in an office, which gave me the experience I needed for future jobs. I didn’t want to leave. Thank you, Richard Mason, and thanks most of all to Americorps*VISTA! I will always be a fan, and I am always trying to recruit new people for you.  

  • Alumni story
    Carol Smillie 2007 2007 Hesperia


    I served at the Y.E.S center in Hesperia California I tutored foster youth. I would like to serve in VISTA again in Apple Valley, Hesperia, or Victorville CA. 

  • Alumni story
    Emily Sebree 2006 2006 Richmond

    My time as a VISTA was amazing! I had the opportunity to work with a summer program at a local college.

    The kids I worked with ranged in age from 5-13. My job was to introduce them to members of their community who had some form of a disability, but were still influential. We got to paint with an artist who was blind. We learned about running a business from a man with Cerebal Palsy, and so much more!

    I can honestly say it was the best summer of my life!


  • Alumni story
    V. Dennis Rutledge 2003 2004 Springfield

    I served one year with American Red Cross Disaster Services, working on capacity building, and fell in love with the movement. Since that first year of service I have been deployed to 16 national disasters, from Maryland to the tip of Texas. I have had the privilege of working on food distribution, Mass Care Shelters, but primarily Family Services. 

    Currently, I work for the Red Cross one day a week on the disaster desk, teach many disaster and health and safety classes, do public speaking on disaster readiness and any other job which I may be ask to do. I am now 69 years old and the Red Cross has become my vocation. It is all possible because of my wonderful year as a VISTA


  • Alumni story
    Allen Ray Ruddles 2007 2008 Kennwick

    I served one year as a VISTA as an Emergency Preparedness Specialist with the American Red Cross. It was one of the best years of my adult life as it led to all kinds of other working/volunteer relationships with many people I otherwise would not have met. This has made life a richer experience for me. 

    My second term was as an AmeriCorps volunteer with our bi-county library system of 11 branches where my job was the Volunteer Coordinator. I was very lucky to have had a supervisor that allowed me the latitude to go outside my job description as long as I completed the necessary clerical stuff. She was the best manager I have ever worked for or with in my life. Both of these working and volunteer experiences were interesting, rewarding, and fun – most of the time.

    My AmeriCorps positions gave me opportunities to do projects that I created and produced. This was a huge plus for me and hopefully for the agencies I worked for, too. 


  • Alumni story
    Mary Redmond 1999 2001 Mileston Community

    During my years of services with VISTA I learned that I had strength that I didn't know that I had. One of these was leadership. I discovered that given the opportunity I could stand out front and be counted. I was given the chance to travel and meet new friends.

    I also learned that I am good at organization. I helped to organize a May Day Festival here in Mileston as well a ‘Make a Difference Day’ and if, I do say so myself, a great time was had by all. 

    I would recommend VISTA to any one young or old who has the desire to work with people, learn and grow as a person as well as travel. VISTA was great for me. Would I do it again? Yes in a heartbeat if I was given the opportunity. THANK YOU!!!!!!! Never be afraid to spread your wings and grow. Volunteering is great - give it a chance. 


  • Alumni story
    Tonya Bennett 2000 2004 Pittsburgh

    I served as a VISTA worker, 2000-2004. I worked through Allegheny County Housing Authority. We went into low-income communities, helped the elderly by painting their units and cleaning their areas of residence. One time there was a black-out on one of the properties; we had to get blankets and order pizza for the residents. I also helped in the knowledge connections with the young adults, recruiting and advising them to come to the computer classes that A.C.H.A, is offering them.  I also helped plant flowers in low-income communities. I'm currently a CNA. I like making a difference. I love to see smiles on the faces of people that think there's no one out there that cares, because I do. I'm currently on The Residents Advisory Board. (A.C.H.A).


  • Alumni story
    Marilyn Fuelner 2000 Evansville

    I started as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer in 2000 when I was 60 years old because I was very interested in helping others. I felt the best place to begin was in the neighborhood. So many people needed help when we started working with United Neighborhood of Evansville that it really gave us the chance to work with all the people. It really is rewarding to see all you can do. 

    I felt what I did was so little, but it made me feel like I was 10 ft tall. We had the best teachers to help us and a good crew to work with. I only wish I could have served a bit longer. I did enjoy giving to others and making their lives a little bit better. I appreciate the opportunity and learned so much. Thank you! 

  • Alumni story
    Edward Graeser 2004 2005 Bethel

    My position description was program development in outdoor recreation for the College of Rural Alaska in Bethel, Alaska. I taught college level course in Applied Business/Human Relations. I taught one-credit courses in Salmon Fly-Tying and Cross-Country Skiing. I led activities in ice-fishing and indoor golf putting. I assisted with kayaking and doing homework. I developed and worked with an Advisory Board to guide the program. I lived in the dorm with native students and acted as an assistant dorm counselor. I drove the van and gave students rides to the airport, the store, the health clinic and the high school. I provided service to Yupik Native Alaskan (Eskimo) college students.

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