This summer AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate members serve in neighborhood development efforts while connecting with neighbors, volunteers and partners in the McLaughlin and Nelson neighborhoods. They have brought their passion and perseverance to where the need is greatest within the community. We are happy to have them serving with the YEP, McLaughlin Grows, Growing Goods, CATCH Camp, Rehab and Lawn Care programs.
We recently asked two of our Summer Associates, Danielle and Fluarry to talk to us about why they decided to join our team?
"When I heard about this position as an AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate with the Growing Goods project, I felt immediately drawn to it, submitting my application the same day. My previous employment as a barista was becoming monotonous and tiresome, while the lure of garden work, youth development, and creative opportunity was loud. I listened to that noise, and I marvel every day at the personal growth that has come from that decision.
A primary component of the success of Growing Goods is the positive community it creates for the students; forming these relationships with the youth has offered me an abundance of laughter, patience, and perspective. Additionally, collaborating with a strong, positive team of supervisors and high school Peer Leaders has shown me the fruitfulness of teamwork, and given me the support to voice my input. I feel fulfilled in ways that no other job has been able to do, though this feels less like a job and more like a place I get to go to learn, serve, grow, be creative, have fun, etc. It has given me highly transferable skills in leadership, initiative, time-management, and community building.
Though I have only been apart of the Growing Goods team for a couple of months, it feels like it’s been much longer due to the inclusion from my supervisors since the beginning, empowering me to dive right in and contribute. This will be a difficult project (and team) to walk away from, but I am infinitely grateful for the lifelong enrichment it has provided."
"The AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate position with the YEP (Youth Empowerment Project) serving in leadership development has been good for my soul. The consistent support and guidance from AmeriCorps VISTA Leader, Arisha Coffee & YEP Director, Charlotte Johnson allowed me to grow in immeasurable ways. I am grateful for the opportunity to work so closely with the youth in the YEP Program. The experience has allowed me to be in community with people and to work with youth.
I have been away from my hometown, Muskegon for seven years to complete undergrad and graduate school. I moved away from home to gain a broader perspective on life. I became disconnected from my passions and over focused with success in academia. This summer experience has allowed me to positively reintegrate back into my community and learn daily from a great group of youth.
I chose to serve to take a break from school. I chose to serve to find meaning and purpose outside of academics. I wanted to give myself a real chance to seek true joy, peace, and balance while engaging in experiences that I am truly passionate about. I am very thankful for the opportunity to work with a great group of people through a super chill organization. This was a good summer."
It is through people like Danielle and Fluarry that Community enCompass is able to effectively walk alongside our neighbors in the core-city neighborhoods of Muskegon. We always have opportunities open for people to join our team. Why not check out our OPPORTUNITIES page to find out how you can be a more active neighbor in the core-city neighborhoods.