From staying home all day during pandemic lockdowns, to being a coach for 140 students, I was so nervous to start my journey as a college coach last year. After completing my first service year, I was brought the opportunity to apply for a development Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) position that had opened. Not knowing anything about being a VISTA, I took a chance and applied for it. Once I received the offer letter it settled in my mind that I would have to face new challenges and tasks within the next year.
Serving with College Possible helps me do the unthinkable and boosts my confidence in the skills I know I have, such as time management, collaborating with others, and accepting feedback. Being a Black woman, I must overcome the notion that I will first be judged on my appearance rather than my qualifications. I hesitated to apply for the VISTA position because I did not know if I could take on the role. Now that I am almost halfway through my first service year, I am very proud of the accomplishments I have had so far. In my role, I work with the development team on the implementation of an alumni program, including an alumni newsletter, assist current AmeriCorps members, and work with College Possible graduates.
Some of my accomplishments include creating a gift for current AmeriCorps members during AmeriCorps Appreciation Week in March. I worked with my supervisor to come up with a gift that would be a great memory for coaches as they exit their service term. The gift was an image of a word cloud that was created from advice from College Possible AmeriCorps alumni coaches along with a group photo of current coaches. It was a great gesture that was well received by AmeriCorps members. I have also been planning, creating, and sending out monthly newsletters to the alumni members. Being able to take directions, ask questions, take initiative, and be innovative are just some skills I have developed during my service term. I look forward to the next months to come!
This story was written by T’Netha Bailey, an AmeriCorps VISTA for College Possible Omaha.