As a second-term VISTA at Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS), I’ve had the pleasure of really getting to know the people and communities I work with. I started as a VISTA in ACRS’ Volunteer Program which provided a number of opportunities to engage with staff members, volunteers and clients from a variety of ACRS’ 13 departments. From line dancing with seniors clients to celebrating volunteers at the ACRS Food Bank, I was touched by the dedication and generosity of spirit so many of our volunteers have. My first year as a VISTA provided me with the honor of meeting and developing strong connections with so many different aspects of ACRS and the work we do.
Now, as a VISTA with ACRS’ Development program I am engaged in a different capacity, with a focus on grant writing, communications and the two ACRS annual fundraisers. I’ve really enjoyed learning about the programs from this perspective, and have grown leaps and bounds professionally under the leadership of my coworkers.
These past two years have been hard, but also incredibly rewarding. I’ve struggled with insecure housing, finances, and other personal challenges. That said, I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to learn from so many people. I have changed significantly in the duration of this program, and remain motivated by a desire to help others however I am able.