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Accomplishment Spotlight: American Legion Auxiliary VISTA Member Counsels Peers for Service Success April 5, 2012

Posted by servicecorpsnews in Accomplishment Spotlight.
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Joshua Schreier, an ALA Call to Service Corps member assigned to American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters, organized and delivered a presentation on maximizing the AmeriCorps member service experience, for AmeriCorps members currently serving in Indiana. Josh’s presentation took place in February 2012 at the mid-year conference for AmeriCorps members sponsored by the Indiana Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives, the state service commission for Indiana. Josh facilitated the service experience discussion with workshop participants, listening to their struggles and successes and letting the group identity the topics most relevant to them.

Josh prepared for the workshop by identifying in advance many of the issues that either he had struggled with directly or that he had heard other Call to Service Corps members raise. Also, he researched forums on the VISTA Campus website where members write about their experiences and solicit suggestions from other VISTA members.

Keys to a successful member service year, according to Josh’s review of recommended practices, include a clear and achievable assignment description and a complete orientation to the organization and service assignment at the very first days of service. Also, members should initially be assigned structured project(s) with plenty of guidance to “walk” the VISTA through the new environment and tasks. Once the VISTA has received some guidance and introductory practice, then it may be appropriate for the VISTA to work more independently. But, in the beginning, structure and guidance make the difference.

Josh is in his second year of AmeriCorps service, having served previously as a member of AmeriCorps NCCC. We are sure he had much to offer to his AmeriCorps peers!

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