Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Non-Profit World….

Aaaaahh (sigh). Its been a while since I was here and last time I was it was an internship. I am now here as a full-time paid volunteer through the Americorps Vista program but it basically feels like Im on staff minus the salary. As always there are department personalities to negotiate, funds to raise, services to render, clients to meet, crises to avert and inspiration to find, digest, be and give.

Thus far I am loving my new situation at the IRC. I am still very much in learning mode, with immigration rules and regulations to memorize, not to mention understand. I also have a research project to get underway. At the moment the research project seems so large I am having trouble imagining let alone finding a starting point to jump from.

I just know that at the end of this year of service for my country and community, I will have gained skills and had a great experience that will push me further in the non-profit world doing what I have dreamed of doing for years.

On another note I am greatly looking forward to traveling home for Christmas in about two weeks! Ive been away for little more than four months but am anxious to get the little rejuvenation that going homes often brings.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


This week I am in L.A. for my Vista orientation/training for my new job at the IRC. I'll be honest, I expected the orientation to be dull, possibly giving some housekeeping details regarding benefits and how exactly to survive on the $1,159 monthly living allowance volunteers receive for their year of service. But instead I had the most powerful and informative discussion on poverty. The Vista program is one of the few national service programs that deal directly with the issue of poverty and its prevention, addressing the issue and plans to elevate it.

The program, or service, is designed for the volunteer to live in the community in which they are serving and at the 'level' of those they serve. I had not expected a lot of the volunteers to have personal experience with poverty but I was mistaken. There were quite a few of volunteers that had dealt with poverty on an extremely personal level.

My eyes were opened. Im excited to see what the next two days of discussions and training teach me.