Imagine it is the Spring of 1977. Jimmy Carter is president and Radio Shack just introduced the TRS-80 Micro Computer. You are getting ready to graduate from college and you have no clue what your next step in life should be, so you go to a career fair and are overwhelmed with options. The voice of John F. Kennedy rings in your ear, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your county” and you want your life to mean something. You come across a table advertising the Peace Corps, but don’t have the skill set they are looking for.
Next to the Peace Corps table is another table also about service, AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA). You strike up a conversation about the program, expecting to hear that you don’t have the skill set needed for service again, but you are pleasantly surprised to be mistaken. VISTA is a program that not only allows you to serve, but trains you and provides an experience that you can apply to the next step in your professional career.
A few short months later, you find yourself serving with 15 others in Decatur, Illinois, helping set up a Boys’ Club. This experience opens your eyes to how those with less privilege are treated in our society, and how the simple act of using food assistance can bring out negative responses from normally decent people. Serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA shaped how you treat others and how you want to be treated.
Fast forward to Fall of 2022. You are once again looking for a way to give back to your community, but this time you have years of experience and knowledge that you can share with those around you. You fondly remember your days of service in 1977 and decide that after retiring, service as an AmeriCorps VISTA will give you the opportunity to share all you have learned with a new generation. You decide to move to Duluth, Minnesota, to be near your family and find an AmeriCorps VISTA position at Ecolibrium3 as a VISTA Leader. As a VISTA Leader, you hope that the VISTAs you guide will embrace the opportunities they are given to grow and develop. The work your VISTAs do will have a lasting impact on the community by building better systems and they will be impacted themselves as they find meaning in the work they do.
This is the story of Phillip Duket, one of the VISTA Leaders currently serving at Ecolibrium3. It could just as easily be your story. VISTA creates community and changes lives. The VISTA program at Ecolibrium3 has a place for everyone. Whether you are just starting out on your professional journey, changing careers and looking for a more fulfilling path, or you want to give back after you retire, we have a spot for you!
Check out our open positions today!