Wait, it’s been three months already?
I know what you all are thinking, whew! The election is finally over! The weather is starting to get colder, leaves are falling, and we have only 6 weeks until Christmas. I can’t believe it’s been three months already since Chichi and I became AmeriCorps VISTAs with US2020 RTP. I still remember our Pre-Service orientation in Philadelphia as though it was just yesterday. Within these few months, we’ve toured and tabled at companies, inspired STEM professionals to volunteer, voted a new president (we’ll come back to that) and ran an awesome expo!
Oh the Arts n’ STEM Expo, where do I begin? This event was met with a great success with 323 students, 17 presenters, and 123 speed mentors! Whoopee! The students loved every bit of the event from Paths to the Park, paneling, speed mentors, and Food Truck Rodeo. Again, thank you again to everyone who pitched in to the success of this expo. FYI, our next expo is on April 7th so mark your calendars.
Back to our three-month journey and post-election outcome, I’m sure we all agree it was quite the presidential race. We at US2020 RTP are optimistic that “our work was important last year, and it will be important next year. No matter who leads us politically, this is the right kind of work at the right kind of time. We strive to enlighten students who will benefit from the opportunities that we create to better their lives. We want to see all be successful and no leadership will ever make that an unworthy pursuit.” These are wise words shared by our program director, Brett Brenton. It’s true that there is so much work that still needs to be done. Recent studies have shown that minority students still have access to fewer educational resources in schools. Until this awareness is made a priority to our leaders, we will not stop working for positive change as an organization.
My experience as a US2020 VISTA continues to be a transformative one. In the first month, it was all about settling in and meeting new faces. Now we simply can’t wait for our new adventures. In a few weeks, I will be meeting with some US2020 RTP partners and find ways to capture how they are using STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in their organizations. It’s just great to be a part of US2020 RTP and contribute to goals. The idea of mentors is what hooked me into this job in the first place. In a community clumped with STEM companies, this organization tries to create feasible ways to help them give back to their community through mentoring and other inspiring activities. US2020 RTP continues in its advancement as we grow internally (more staff) and externally (more partners). Talking about growth, let’s welcome Sonya Mosher who joined the US2020 RTP team today as the new Events and Fundraising Lead. Check out our next blog to learn all about Sonya!
In a nutshell, the first quarter of my VISTA service can be described in one word- uncertainty. Uncertainty because the next steps are almost never known, but everything still works out perfectly in the end.
If you ask me personally, working with US2020 RTP is the most meaningful contribution to positive change I have made in my life. I hope as you read this, you become inspired to see the world become a better place.