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View from VISTA Leader: Amanda at United Way

October 25, 2012

Name: Amanda Boehmer

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada by way of Woodbridge Township, NJ

What is your favorite aspect about your AmeriCorps VISTA position? I am lucky enough to be serving as the AmeriCorps VISTA Leader for 14 United Way of Southern Nevada VISTAs serving in 10 Southern Nevada agencies.  This opportunity has allowed me to discover new agencies in town and a chance to work with other agencies in a different capacity.  However, my favorite part of my position has been working with the VISTAs – being a mentor, friend, role model, leader, etc…

What’s one reason you think people should volunteer with the organization where you’re serving? The Volunteer Center at UWSN serves as a clearing house for many of the volunteer opportunities in Southern Nevada non-profits.  Our website volunteer.uwsn.org is a great place for new and experienced volunteers to find volunteer opportunities to fit their needs.  As a National Service member I encourage volunteerism is any way shape or form.   

What project or event are you really looking forward to this year and why? I am looking forward to Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on January 21st 2013.  It is going to be a GREAT day of service so closely tied to VISTA’s mission of eradicating poverty. 

Since you’re not new to Las Vegas, what is something that has surprised you about the community since starting your VISTA term?  I’ve lived in Las Vegas since I was 11, nothing surprises me anymore. 

What is something you want people who don’t live in Las Vegas to know about this community?  Las Vegas is much more than “The Strip”.  Las Vegas is a real city dealing with the same issues facing many cities and towns in the US.  The families who call Southern Nevada home worry about their children’s education, their parents’ and grandparents’ health and healthcare, and making ends meet.  It’s a unique place where locals, transplants, and tourists mix and mingle and come and go. 

What’s your personal philosophy on Service and Volunteerism?

“Service is the rent each of us pays for living – the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time or after you have reached your personal goals.”                                     Marian Wright Edelman

Does anyone in your life play a role in supporting your involvement?  The only way I was able to serve last year and continue to serve this year is because of my family.  We are a full house of 7 people including my parents, brother, sister, grandma, and special needs uncle.  My dad and brother are so wonderful that they transformed a portion of our three car garage into a room for me last year.  I call it “Apartment A” they call it “The Cave” either way we are one big (usually) happy family and I am grateful for them. 

This is the third in a series profiling the 15 AmeriCorps VISTAs serving in Southern Nevada during the 2012-13 year and the only profile of our one great VISTA Leader!  For more information on AmeriCorps VISTA and national service opportunties in Southern Nevada, click here.

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