BY KATHRYN RYAN, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM ASSOCIATE, THE HUB
Being a VISTA with The Hub means more than just building the capacity of a great organization. Being a Hub VISTA means building the capacity of communities; it means changing the trajectory of West Virginia.
At The Hub, we work to improve West Virginia through community engagement, leadership development, and community-led revitalization efforts. Our VISTAs play an instrumental role in that process.
Our Communities of Achievement Program (HubCAP) VISTA, Sathiyan Sivakumaran, spends a lot of time identifying and compiling resources. But collaborating with communities at a level in which he can catalogue that information in an effective and accessible way is what makes Sathiyan’s service in West Virginia so important. Because of Sathiyan’s work, communities in southern West Virginia are better able to use resources that are flowing into and rising from within our state.
Breanna Collins, our Engaging Entrepreneurial Communities VISTA, works to build the social infrastructure needed for entrepreneurship to thrive. As a part of this effort, she works to establish communication processes that connect entrepreneurs and communities. Breanna’s service to West Virginia is building the entrepreneurial capacity in our economy.
The Hub sponsors VISTAs for other organizations too. Eleanor Marshall, a VISTA sponsored by The Hub, is working with Grow Ohio Valley in Wheeling to provide a community framework in which citizens have access to locally grown, farm-fresh produce, meat, and dairy. Rachel Pell, a Hub VISTA at Friends of Deckers Creek in Morgantown, is bringing community members into creek cleanup efforts and is promoting the social and economic advantages of having a clean watershed in the community.
What is it that AmeriCorps VISTAS do? They lay a foundation. They put the building blocks in place so that the rest of us have a sustainable footing upon which to build, grow, and thrive.
If you’re interested in revitalizing West Virginia through VISTA service, check out the positions we’re currently sponsoring by viewing our Jobs Page. And contact us! We’re always available for questions. Just email me, our VISTA program coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.