Top 6 Reasons to Become a VISTA

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If you’re thinking about becoming a VISTA, there are a lot of factors to consider. Let’s take a minute to talk about some of the good things a year in VISTA world could give you.

1. Even if you’re coming in with little experience in what you’re doing, you’re going to come away from this year with a resumé overflowing with diverse professional experience.

Don’t have experience yet? Finding it hard to get a job in your field because of that fact? Enter VISTA year. In one year, you have a chance to do a wide variety of tasks that will give you greater confidence, more interview talking points, and a guaranteed resumé boost.

2. AmeriCorps allows you to serve in a capacity that makes sustainable difference.

The point of VISTA jobs is to build capacity — AKA your work now is directed towards laying the long-term groundwork for change in St. Louis. You can’t say that about every job. Pretty cool.

3. In joining AmeriCorps, you are joining a network of some of the best nonprofits and organizations in the city.

You’d be hard-pressed to find networking opportunities as awesome as the ones you will receive with AmeriCorps. When you become a VISTA, you get to join a community of people who are all doing the same thing as you, just at various locations throughout the city. That opens up the door to not only pick each other’s brains, but also to meet the staff at other VISTA sites— and potentially a future employer.

4. Whether you’re local or from out of town, there’s no cooler way to get to know St. Louis.

VISTA affords you the opportunity to get to know the people who are working/living/spending their time in some of the most culturally rich parts of STL. You can get to know our awesome international food scene or our beautiful parks tucked into random parts of the city. You can spend the summer attending free concerts in Forest Park, exploring our free zoo, and the winter sledding down art hill. You can take a culinary tour around the world just walking down South Grand. What we’re saying is that this city rocks and getting to know it with VISTA friends is a great way to do it.

5. VISTA puts high priority on building your professional skills.

Not only do you get all-star professional development training during your time as a VISTA, you also get a $6,095 education award for completing your year of service. That means you can either put a dent in your grad school budget or you can chip away at those student loans you’re dreading paying off. Did we mention that during your year of service, you can forbear your student loan payments without accruing interest? Yeah. That’s good stuff.

6. Learning financial discipline.

Serving with AmeriCorps, you don’t make the most money, and that is hard. BUT you will learn how to live well on a budget— and that living well on this budget is absolutely possible! Refer back to #4 on this list — we have so many free activities here, and so much of it is cooler than the things you’ve got to pay for. Living on a budget makes you get adventurous and creative, and we personally think that’s where the best memories happen.

Not convinced yet? Check out Nikki’s experience in her VISTA year in our last blog.