A Day in the Life of AmeriCorps VISTA Mikayla
December 14, 2020
“A day in the life as a VISTA has looked really different for me over the last two years based on what phase of my project I’m in and since last spring when we went completely remote. I now log on pretty early (around 7:00 AM) as I’m trying to become a morning person in a desperate attempt to see every bit of sunlight I can these days. I start my day with catching up on emails and planning out any tasks or meetings I have that day. Every week, I check in with my team and my supervisor individually to stay up to date on where everyone’s work is at since it’s easy to feel disconnected while working remote.
Throughout the morning, I typically don’t have many meetings so I use that time to work independently on my project. Right now, I’m doing a lot of writing and revising on the recommendations that I spent the better part of last year developing. Throughout my time as a VISTA, this has looked like planning for community meetings or input sessions, synthesizing input I’ve received from others, developing messaging for my project, and tracking down and visualizing local data.
Then, I’ll make a hot lunch for myself, which has been one of the biggest benefits of working at home (and also a bonus that I can have soup for lunch without spilling it all over my lunch bag and backpack). Most of my meetings happen in the afternoon, so I’ll meet with our partners individually or in groups to talk about the Youth Master Plan, any feedback I need from them, logistical pieces I need support with, or just good, old-fashioned brainstorming.
If I don’t have meetings, I’ll sometimes go for a walk around the neighborhood before signing off nice and early (another benefit of starting to early!) and enjoy the rest of my afternoon or evening. If I’m working with the Minneapolis Youth Congress, as I often have in the last couple of years, I’ll meet with them in the early evening to accommodate their schedules. If this is the case, I’ll either start the day later or take a couple hours off in the afternoon to exercise.
Again, my schedule isn’t very consistent and always changes depending on what my project demands of me at the time. However, I’ve really enjoyed having some variety in my schedule as it makes my service feel a little less like a boring nine to five office job.”
-Mikayla, Alliance AmeriCorps VISTA serving at Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board