Article Author: Stefanie Perosa, CAC AmeriCorps VISTA member 2017-2018 with introduction by CAC AmeriCorps VISTA Leader, Christine Doka
Stefanie Perosa is an AmeriCorps VISTA member serving at UT FUTURE. Hailing all the way from the sunny state of Florida, Stefanie came to the East Tennessee hills to make a difference in the lives’ of others – and that she has done.
Keep Sevier Beautiful (KSB) has been providing me with smiles and laughter since the day I stepped into the office to start my AmeriCorps year with them as their Program Coordinator. For starters, the office I stepped into was not going to be our office for long, which caused a lot of craziness. Within the first month of serving with KSB, their entire office moved into a new building across town and my organization skills were put to the test immediately with the sudden influx of boxes with unknown items inside.
Recruitment season is in full swing here at the CAC AmeriCorps office! From the time we begin recruitment to the time we fill all the positions in our corps, our office can go through close to 300 applications. With that many applicants, the positions can be quite competitive. We all want each of our applicants to succeed, so each of us here in the office sat down and thought of 5 things that impress us (and other general advice) during the CAC AmeriCorps application and interview process…you’re welcome!
Article Author: Michaela Barnett, CAC AmeriCorps VISTA Member 2017-2018
I spent some time this morning googling variations of “how to write an impact narrative.” It should be a simple task: list the work I have undertaken since arriving at my site and extrapolate on the impact of said work. I was told that I could write one that is qualitative, or quantitative, or both. While sitting at my workstation and struggling with the task, an employee from my site mercifully interrupted. He wanted to talk to me about furniture donations.
“It makes me sick!” he said, after describing thousands of dollars’ worth of high-quality furniture thrown into dumpsters and destined for the landfill. I understand – it makes me ill, too.
On an early morning in May, I donned my monarch butterfly cloak with feathered antenna and headed out to talk to 900 excited raindrops about how wetlands improve water quality by removing pollutants. Water Palooza was a station at WaterFest, a water quality festival for hundreds of students at Ijams Nature Center, where students pretended to be raindrops as they picked up metaphorical pollutants from urban, agricultural, residential and industrial stations. I was a wetland butterfly at the final station where the “raindrops” cleaned off their sediment, toxins, bacteria and trash. WaterFest was one of the many educational events during my term I will fondly look back on. A year ago this would have been an anxiety inducing event for me. I wasn’t exactly a social butterfly before my AmeriCorps term. Being a Knox County AmeriCorps member has given me the confidence to pursue my career and personal goals.
Article Author: Deidra Rogers, CAC AmeriCorps VISTA Member 2017-2018
Since the start of my AmeriCorps VISTA journey, I have had an eager heart to serve and be of service to those who are in need. What better way to do this than by assisting with making a difference in the life of a community helping individuals with their search for local jobs, or better yet, a career.