Today was Teressa’s last day at MHYC! She has been a wonderful part of the Colorado Springs team and will be very missed. We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors! Below are some of her thoughts about her time at MHYC and her term as a VISTA in AmeriCorps.
Why did you choose to serve at MHYC?
MHYC caught my interest because it would allow me to work with youth and the environment, both being something I really enjoy being involved with. I have been working with teenagers for several years now and I really appreciate their thirst for knowledge and ambition. They are an inspiring group to work with. To have an opportunity to educate them and give them the tools to be successful young people was something that was very intriguing to me (indirectly of course). I also have work history at a state park in Oregon, and really enjoyed my experiences there. I feel that as citizens who access city, state and national parks that we have a responsibility to maintain the parks for future generations. Being a part of MHYC allowed me to work with youth and the environment, just from a different position than I had experienced before.
Tell us a little about what you do at MHYC?
My first week at MHYC I reviewed all of the education material that was made available by the VISTA before me. After that I was put in high gear because the SOS 2010 was starting. Throughout the summer I created curriculum and tracking sheets, packaged education material for the crews per hitch, and developed some spreadsheets to record education hours. Writing curriculum has been my main role here at MHYC but I have done a variety of other things.
What is your favorite part about your work?
I really enjoy interacting with the corpsmembers, crew mentors and crew leaders. I like finding out what they are interested in so I can cater my education to that. When I know what they are interested in learning I can make the education program more relevant and meaningful to them.
What is the most challenging part of your work?
When there are no crews in and out of the office I have a harder time making effective curriculum. It is hard to get feedback on a lesson when there is no one to use it in the field.
Since your year term ends next month what are your future plans?
Just living the dream.
Any advice for those considering serving through the AmeriCorps VISTA program?
Make sure you are ready for the commitment, the VISTA stipend is not impressive. I like to joke that I was in college for several years so I already know what living in poverty is like. But when I was in college I could always work more to make more money as needed, you can’t do that as a VISTA, you have very little control of your situation for a year. But if you can make the commitment it is worth it in the end.
Would you like to share anything else?
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.