Posts Tagged ‘VISTA’

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View from VISTA: Alexis at United Way of Southern Nevada– Immediate Needs

January 25, 2013

Alexis

I have to admit, I was extremely envious of the VISTAs I met during Pre-Service Orientation that were relocating for their terms. I was jealous of the new people they would meet, the new community they would call home, and the new places they would see. I wasn’t born in Las Vegas but I have lived here for the majority of my life.  Little did I know that my VISTA term in my hometown would give me all of those experiences and so much more. My coworkers at the United Way of Southern Nevada welcomed me in with open arms and it wasn’t long until I was able to witness a new side of Las Vegas that I had never before been exposed to.

I have been able to meet individuals that are driven by their passion to leave a positive impact on our community because of my VISTA position. One of the greatest lessons I have learned in my VISTA term is that I did not need to relocate to experience a new community, meet new people, and see new things. In all my years growing up in Las Vegas I had never witnessed such a generous and caring side of our community. I am so happy that I made the decision to become an AmeriCorps VISTA in Las Vegas because it has given me a new sense of pride for my community!

This is the eighth in a series profiling the 15 AmeriCorps VISTAs serving in Southern Nevada during the 2012-13 year.  For more information on AmeriCorps VISTA and national service opportunities in Southern Nevada, click here.

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Serving Our Community

January 22, 2013

Yesterday, hundreds of volunteers came out to serve the community for MLK Day of Service.  AmeriCorps members served in many ways– including canvassing neighborhoods with fire safety information with the American Red Cross, assisting in an art program at Boys and Girls Club, and cleaning up a local elementary school with UNLV volunteers.  We were happy to make the day off a day of service!

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MLK Day Parade

One Southern Nevada AmeriCorps VISTA, Seelypon, helped spread the word about important services that her site offers to the community.  Nevada Health Centers staff and volunteers participated in the 2013 Martin Luther King Parade held in Downtown Las Vegas on January 21st, 2013. NVHC’s Mammovan was present as the organization’s float in the parade while NVHC staff and volunteers held posters about the different services that it offers as well as passed out incentives and information about NVHC.

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View from VISTA: Blythe at United Way of Southern Nevada’s Volunteer Center

October 16, 2012

Name: Blythe Cherney

Hometown: Visalia, California

Host Site: United Way of Southern Nevada– Volunteer Center

What is your favorite aspect about your AmeriCorps VISTA position?  My position as a VISTA at United Way of Southern Nevada’s Volunteer Center has thus far offered an incredible introduction to the Las Vegas Valley.  I have served at events all over the city, met many wonderful people, and learned so much about this new community of mine in just a couple months of serving here.  Part of my introduction to the community has involved presenting about volunteerism to area high school students, which I love.  High school students have so much to offer this community. 

What’s one reason you think people should volunteer with the organization where you’re serving?  UWSN’s Volunteer Center is very unique in that it helps facilitate volunteer opportunities at many nonprofits around the Las Vegas Valley.  I think people should really take advantage of the Volunteer Center website to find volunteer opportunities and learn more about local nonprofits.  It is a great tool for volunteers and nonprofits to connect.

What project or event are you really looking forward to this year and why?  A central part of my VISTA service at the UWSN Volunteer Center is coordinating a high school volunteer and recognition program called Next Generation Actively Gaining Experience (NGAGE).  I am really looking forward to the recognition event in April so we can acknowledge the accomplishments of area high school students.

If you’re new to Las Vegas, what are your first impressions of the community?  One of the more odd first impressions I had about Las Vegas was how central cars are to life here.  Before moving to Las Vegas, I used to commute by bike and bus.  I realize that that is not necessarily the norm in the US, but I was still surprised when I looked up how long it would take me to get to work by bus in Las Vegas—it would take 3 hours!  By car it takes just 20 minutes.  I’m fortunate to have access to a car, but I can’t help but think about the challenge it would pose to individuals who don’t, especially because Las Vegas is a very spread out city. 

What is something you want people who don’t live in Las Vegas to know about this community?  I am still completely in awe of the size of Clark County School District, which encompasses Las Vegas.  I don’t think many people outside Las Vegas know that CCSD is the fifth largest school district in the U.S.  You can imagine the challenges that would arise in a district of such size.

What do you wish other people knew about the nonprofit or its cause?  I think a lot of people have heard of United Way, but don’t know exactly what it does.  In Southern Nevada, its impact areas of education, health, financial stability, and immediate needs cover a lot of ground.  UWSN makes an impact in so many different ways, from early childhood education centers to free tax preparation for low income individuals.  This video explains it in a way that is much cooler than I can:  

In your opinion, what is the most important work that this organization does? As you can probably tell from my earlier answers, I think that education is central to a community’s success, and nowhere more so than in Las Vegas.  I think that the resources UWSN provides in the area of education are incredible and diverse and so fully represent the mission of United Way.  And, better yet, all the impact areas reach into education.  For example, UWSN has created a program to provide financial literacy to elementary school students, trains early childhood teachers, engages families to encourage academic success and help their high school students graduate, and established dental and health clinics at low income schools.  And, I’m lucky enough to be part of the team that is helping to teach the importance of community service to high school students and recognizing them for their achievements in volunteerism. 

This is the scond in a series profiling the 14 AmeriCorps VISTAs serving in Southern Nevada during the 2012-13 year.  For more information on AmeriCorps VISTA and national service opportunties in Southern Nevada, click here.

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Fall into Fun!

October 10, 2012

Looking for some free family fun this weekend?  Look no further!  The Arthritis Foundation, Nevada Office, invites your entire family to join them for a day of fun and discovery at the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum.  This event is open to all community members, and there is no cost for you to attend!  

Saturday, October 13th

12:00-3:00 pm

Lied Discovery Children’s Museum

833 Las Vegas Boulevard, North

Las Vegas, NV 89101

Please RSVP to Crystal from the Arthritis Foundation at 702-575-7669 or cschulz@arthritis.org

See the flyer for this community event here: Free Family Fun

This event information comes from Tarman Aziz who is serving at the Arthritis Foundation, Nevada, as an AmeriCorps VISTA member.  Check back for his View from VISTA blog post about the great work the Arthritis Foundation does in Nevada!

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Kids Count!

September 28, 2012

What’s better than teaching kids about volunteerism and getting them involved in the community?  Encouraging young volunteers to recruit adults to volunteer!  Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas is doing just that with their Project Learn and Applause programs.

Applause is a creative educational art program that involves the Boys and Girls Clubs of Las Vegas to create positive recognition billboards designed to act as outreach material that celebrates the volunteerism experienced by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Las Vegas. 

Club members will create their billboards during the program, Project Learn.  Project Learn introduces club members to varying forms of community service and serves as an educational program that seeks to increase members’ motivation to learn, improve their grades, and increase their ability to graduate from high school and attend post-secondary institutions.

As part of the collaboration, club members and current volunteers will discuss a particular aspect of volunteerism and illustrate their own experiences of volunteerism in their community and the outcomes it yields.  The artwork will be collected and displayed in each of the eight Las Vegas clubhouse locations.  A few illustrations will be enlarged and printed professionally to be displayed throughout the community in local businesses, schools, libraries and the Boys and Girls Clubhouses of Las Vegas and will serve as marketing and informational pieces to recruit potential volunteers interested in the tutoring and literacy programs inside the Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas.

You can find more information about the great work Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas is doing with their club members and find volunteer opportunities on our website.

This blog post is brought to you by one of United Way of Southern Nevada’s AmeriCorps VISTA members, Steven Nichols.  Steven is a Volunteer Coordinator at Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas.