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The VISTA Verse September 2011

Vol. 1 Issue 10

VISTA Welcomes New Members

Annemarie

Nora

Elizabeth Ellen

Laura

Virginia VISTA Project of United Way of Weld County

AmeriCorps VISTAs: New Faces of Weld County The VISTA Project of United Way is excited to welcome six new VISTA members onto our Project from California to Maine! We are happy to have such a diverse group and welcome their passion, new ideas, and enthusiasm to help enhance our county! Read on to learn more about these individuals dedicating a year to their new community: Annemarie Blodgett – Is the new VISTA at Sunrise Community Health. She just graduated from Providence College with a BS in Health Policy and Management, and a minor in Public and Community Service. She has lived in Maine her whole life and loves any outdoor activity, especially hiking, biking, camping, and skiing. She is excited about her VISTA year and the adventures that lay head! Ellen Saribudak - Is the VISTA at Weld Food Bank. She is a recent graduate from the University of Texas, where she studied Government and English literature. Ellen got involved in her community volunteering in Austin with animal welfare and local farms, during which she cultivated a love for learning about sustainable food systems. After her year with AmeriCorps, she hopes to work to promote the connections between human health and environmental health. In the far future, she would like to have a homestead, small vegetable CSA operation, and a farm animal sanctuary! Elizabeth Morris - Lizzie is the new VISTA at A Woman’s Place and is from St. Paul, Minnesota. She graduated from University of Wisconsin majoring in Sociology and minoring in global studies. She hopes to obtain a Master's in Public Policy in the future. Lizzie studied abroad in South Africa last summer and she hopes to visit India. When she's not a Volunteer in Service to America, she enjoys reading, exploring, lunch dates, coffee, and trivia. Virginia Siverly – Ginnie is the first VISTA at Faith Community Service Fund. She was born and raised in Merced, California and has three siblings, including a twin brother. A recent graduate from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a degree in civil engineering, Ginnie has gotten to work for engineering nonprofit in England for a semester and now loves tea & biscuits. Ginnie is all about ethnic food, peanut butter, frozen yogurt, Just Dance by Wii, sports, people, backpacking, snow and exploring new places. Lauren Cartier – is the VISTA at Habitat ReStore and just graduated in May from Emmanuel College in Boston, MA with a Bachelor’s degree in English Communications and Sociology. She hails from Agawam, Massachusetts and loves cycling, running, hiking, snowboarding and whatever else she can get herself into.

Interested in learning more? Contact: VISTA Project – United Way of Weld County 814 9th Street Greeley, CO 80631 PO Box 1944 Greeley, CO 80832 P: 970-353-4300 ext 2570 F: 970-353-4738 Email: erika@unitedway-weld.org

Nora Burmeister - Is the VISTA at High Plains Library District and nd is currently serving her 2 year of AmeriCorps. Nora served her first service year at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington while living in Portland, Oregon. Nora is an Oregon native who is excited to get a chance to explore Colorado first-hand. After completing this VISTA year, Nora hopes to return to school to receive her master's degree in Library and Information Sciences so that she can continue working with libraries and literacy throughout her life.


September 2011

The VISTA Verse

New Kid On The Block With six new VISTAs, it is important to review ways you can adjust to your new service site. Following are a few tips that will not only help make everyone at your site aware of what you do, but it will help you get acclimated to your new surroundings. 1. Attend every meeting- and site event you can right from Day One. Being a constant visible presence among the staff shows them that you are just as committed to the site as they are. 2. Brag- As a behind the scenes your constant work isn’t seen. Share progress reports, write up recent achievements, and talk about what you’ve been doing at staff meetings. 3. Eat in the staff lounge- and attend staff social events whenever you can. Like attending meetings, eating and socializing with everyone will make you more connected to the staff, which makes collaborating with them much easier!

Vol. 1 Issue 10

Important & Interesting Dates September is National Self-Improvement, Courtesy, and Classical Music Month. Stay Classy VISTAs! 09/05 Labor Day 9/08 International Literacy Day 9/10 Ride for Life North Range SESS Program 9/11 National Day of service and Remembrance 9/11 Grandparent's Day – Thanks! 13 Positive Thinking Day 9/18 National Neighborhood Day 9/19 International Talk Like A Pirate Day – Aargh! 9/23 – 24 Oktoberfest in Greeley 9/24 National Public Lands 9/29 VISTA Monthly Meeting For more information on these events please email Erika – erika@unitedway-weld.org

4. Take advantage of every- training, conference, seminar, retreat, and professional development opportunity the VISTA project of United Way of Weld County or your site has to offer. You have a chance to reconnect with other VISTAs across the state. It’s a great change of scenery that will keep you refreshed, focused, and energized at your site. 5. Serve one day at a time- Break down the big projects into small, manageable tasks that are more realistic. One phone call. One letter. One conversation. You may not always be able to do everything, but that’s okay, because you can always do something. So find something you can do, and do it! It does add up! 6. Create some personal space for yourself at the office- Whether you have your own office, a cubicle or just a desk, there must be some space there that is just for you. In this space, you should put some personal effects such as photos. This will help you to feel more at home in the new work environment and open up conversations for other employees. 7. Keep lots of lists- At the beginning of the day, you should make a "to do" list and a list of things that you are excited about for the day. At the end of the day, you should make a list of things that went well. These lists will keep you organized and focused on what is good about this new job.

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FYI: VISTAs! Reserve your space for hosting a table at Aims Make A Difference Day by 9/15 Complete Progress Reports for Monthly VISTA Meeting 9/29 If you have pictures from events or you have events coming up in the future inform Erika Rogness erika@unitedway-weld.org


September 2011

The VISTA Verse

Vol. 1 Issue 10

Kick it up with some Spice It’s September – break out the sweaters, put away the flip flops, and keep warm! Kick off your fall with some spice.

Creamy Cajun Chicken 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips 4 ounces linguine, cooked al dente 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning 2 tablespoons butter 1 thinly sliced green onion 1 -2 cup heavy whipping cream 2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon dried basil 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese Place chicken and Cajun seasoning in a bowl and toss to coat. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté chicken in butter or margarine until chicken is tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat add green onion, heavy cream, tomatoes, basil, salt, garlic powder, black pepper and heat through. Pour over hot linguine and toss with Parmesan cheese. Need a warm drink?

Hot Apple Ginger Kick-In-A-Glass 1 cup of apple cider Drizzle of honey Peeled fresh gingerroot, coarsely chopped (thumb-sized piece) Mulling spices (cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, allspice, nutmeg) Add the ginger and mulling spices to the cider and simmer in a saucepan over medium-low heat for at least 5 minutes (or a full 15 or more if you want full flavor). Drizzle some honey into a mug and add the hot cider, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir. Enjoy!

V^3: Very Valuable VISTA Erin Janda – Connections for Independent Living 1.) Which culture's mythology do you find most interesting? I am fascinated by the entire ancient Egyptian culture and history and considered becoming an Egyptologist. 2.) Do you have a favorite vacation spot? Hawaii! I spent two weeks on Oahu in 2006 and have wanted to go back ever since. .3.) Who is your favorite sci-fi/fantasy character? Alice from the Resident Evil films. She's such a strong, resilient, and good-hearted character. 4.) Are you a collector of anything? I am somewhat of a coin collector now. I suppose I collect scarves, but really that is best classified as an addiction. 5.) How will you apply your VISTA experience to your future life experiences? It has fueled my passion for volunteering, community involvement, and humanitarian work. I plan to serve in the Peace Corps and better the developing community using the skills I learned and improved this year. I feel as though I'm getting a lot more than I'm giving in this type of work, but if I can even make one small change, I'll feel that I've done some good. 6.) What is your plan/strategy for the Zombie apocalypse? First, equip myself with various weapons that would best defend me. Next, I'll gather up my close friends and family, and we'll bushwhack our way to a remote and fortified location where we'll hold up for survival. We'll make trips into nearby towns to resupply and rescue any other survivors. For fun, we'll have zombie hunting days to rid the planet of at least a few of the hungry undead. 7.) Why did you become an AmeriCorps VISTA? I've always wanted to do Peace Corps but wasn't sure if I could handle being away for a two-year commitment. A college friend served as a VISTA and had a wonderful experience and I thought, "why not?" So I packed up and moved over 1,400 miles from home. It's been one of the best decisions I've ever made! 8.) What do you miss most about home (Georgia)? I really only miss my friends, family, and Moe's (my fav Mexican restaurant). I've really grown to love Colorado. I'm going to be very sad to leave. 9.) What do you love the most about living in Colorado? I love the variety and convenience of outdoor activities that are available year-round. And who can resist the jaw-dropping beauty of the mountains?!


September 2011

What’s Happenin’ - September

Vol. 1 Issue 10

All Events are FREE unless marked otherwise th

9/20 Crochet and Crafting Group 1:30 – 3:30 1113 8 Avenue Greeley. Come together to make things to give away and share knowledge. 9/20 Meet the Leaders. 5:30 – 7:30 Austin’s Homestead Grill 1600 Pelican Lakes Points, Windsor. The Windsor Chamber of Commerce is once again co-hosting a “Meet Your Community Leaders Night” with the Town of Windsor. This introduces residents and business leaders to the local community leaders that serve Windsor. Ask questions and enjoy some good food. 9/20 QPR Suicide Awareness Trainings 6-8pm Centennial Library Free community gate-keeper training. Get the information and skills needed to help make a difference in our community. kgamer@highplains.us 9/23 People First Talent Show 7 – 9pm Meakins Community Center 3700 Golden St. Evans. Talent show featuring community acts and differently-abled self advocates 9/24 10am – 9/25 10am National Alpaca Farm Days - Deer Valley Alpacas 2712 S. County Rd. 29 Loveland. Visit three ranches at one location. Deer Valley Alpacas, Spittin' G Alpacas, Talking Feather Alpacas. Visit the alpacas and see the babies. Fiber demonstrations and fiber products for sale to give you a head star09t on your Christmas shopping! 09/24 Greeley’s Oktoberfest 2011 11am – 7pm Lincoln Park 9th ave/9th st. Enjoy Beer, Brats, Polka, German Dancers, Craft Vendors and more at Oktoberfest! You can even find shopping with a variety of vendor booths. Admission is FREE! 9/24 Greeley’s Farmer’s Market 7:30am – 12pm 902 7th Ave Greeley. Features vendors with seasonal farm-fresh produce, meats, breads and pastries, flowers, great food, local crafts and more. Special activities are scheduled throughout the season including live music and recipe demonstrations. 9/24 6th Annual Anniversary Skate 12 – 1:30 Greeley Ice Haus. Come celebrate our 6th Anniversary with an exhibition from the Mountain View Skating Club (MVSC) members, free public skate admission ($2 skate rental) with tips from our own figure skaters, door prizes and games. Visit the Hockey Haus Pro Shop at the Ice Haus for all your figure skating and hockey needs. Age 3+. Fee: Free Admission with $2 Skate Rental

Benefits of a College Town: Other Then Cheap Food There are many positive perks to being a VISTA in a university town. Many people gravitate around universities. It can be difficult to map all the resources of a university town and how to use those resources effectively. Here are some helpful hints and tips: University Students 1. Volunteer Base: Many students are required to perform community service hours for their classes or as a general education requirement to graduate. 2. Work Study Employees: Some university students qualify for work study dollars through federal financial aid. This is a great resource for finding cheap paid workers. It is important to note that sometimes students can transfer their federal loan dollars into work study dollars. Contact your local financial aid office for more details. 3. Special Talents: People go to college to learn a specific trade or to improve their talents and passions. Utilize the talents and knowledge of university students to the best of your ability. Student Organizations 1. Specialized Knowledge: All student organizations focus on a specific subject and many can provide either educational materials or programming about their field of expertise. 2. Fundraising: If you are throwing an event that is line with a student organization, they can some-times support you with monetary donations. Try and get on their list for donations! Advertising 1. Campus Advertising: When you start thinking of all the ways to contact university students, the list is endless. School newspapers, residence halls, e-mail blasts, volunteer fairs, student organizations, college hang outs, and the list goes on and on. 2. Special Facilities: Think about all the facilities that a university contains that you may be able to use as a resource on your asset map. Art departments have kilns, astronomy departments have planetariums, and biology departments have lab equipment, art exhibits, athletic events, musicals, guest speakers, etc. Overall, university towns offer wonderful opportunities for lasting partnerships. Using staff, students, and facilities to your fullest advantage, and can help you fill in your asset maps with wonderful resources.


VISTA Verse September 2011