My experience working with Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity as an AmeriCorps Vista Volunteer has been exceptional: I knew that my service as an AmeriCorps volunteer was going to be a rewarding experience, but as I've coupled that experience with Habitat for Humanity, I've been able to work with community members closely to help effect change in the lives of whom we serve.
I've had the opportunity to grow my professional skills in a number of capacities that I never even thought about before I started. As someone who has a background in marketing and writing, I always assumed that I would continue developing those skills and attributes. But working as a Volunteer Coordinator has really given me the opportunity to connect with people personally, coordinate major events, and manage hundreds of volunteers, providing me with leadership experience, and a first hand knowledge about why volunteers support an organization or cause. And that's not even mentioning how rewarding it is to work on the behalf of a community. About half way through my service, we completed a home and I got the chance to participate in the open house for the new homeowner. There were over one hundred community members present--state senators, congressmen, city officials, volunteers, and other major stakeholders were all present to congratulate the new family on being able to elevate their standard of living and become a stable homeowner within the community.
I have to say, now that I have experienced work in the non-profit sector, I don't think I could ever return to a for-profit organization. There's just so much more value in the work performed through non-profits and my experience with Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity has really showed me how I can make a direct impact in communities that are changing for the better. So if you really want to jump right into meaningful work and start solving real problems rather than take another internship performing mindless tasks, becoming an AmeriCorps VISTA is the way to go.
- AmeriCorps VISTA Daniel Parkins, Volunteer Coordinator