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Thank You VISTA's - Fall 2022

Dear VISTAs,

It’s me, Matt, Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation’s fearless Communications Manager. Here you are at the end of your year of service and I just want to say thanks.

I think as AmeriCorps members it's something you don’t hear enough, especially when you’re serving as a VISTA member and spend most of your time behind the scenes growing capacity. You’re out there writing grants, taking photos, or carrying literally thousands of dog waste bags across the city. Serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA member isn’t easy but all of you crushed it this past year (or “slayed everyday” as one of you would gracefully put it).

Your service started out simple enough, coming to Rosewood for your orientation, meeting the teams you would be joining, and working through that age old question "why are there so many differences between VISTA and State & National service?”. You may have been questioning just what the heck you had gotten yourself into, but also feeling the excitement of the new journey that you were starting as your service began.

We were all excited to have you joining our teams. There is not a single member of the staff that doesn’t appreciate all the work that AmeriCorps members get done during their service. I know we’ve all told you a billion and a half times, but most of us were in your shoes at one point and have experienced the same feelings of excitement, frustration, pride and joy that you’ve gone through this year. We hope that you felt supported and understood, just like we did when we served our own terms.

For all the high points there are in a year, there are also the low points. There were probably times where that excitement of making an impact in the community wore off and it felt like making a difference might not be enough. But instead of giving up you hung in there and pushed things to the next level. That’s when it all clicks. You move from having not just the ability to make a difference but the knowledge to make it effective. You should all be proud of making it through the hard times that come with AmeriCorps service and coming out on the other side.

In the end I just want you to know that you're all special people, and I don't mean that in the whole “cheesy goodbye thank you letter” way. Not everyone is cut out for AmeriCorps service, not everyone would make the commitment that you have to serve our community, not everyone would step up and decide to make a difference, but you did, and I’m glad that I got to be a part of it.

Thank you for your service.


About the Author:

Matt is the Communications Manager for Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation. After serving with TMPF as an AmeriCorps VISTA in 2017 he worked to promote AmeriCorps programs throughout Nevada for four years and is excited to be back at the place that started his journey in the nonprofit world. Matt studied Radio Television Production at the University of Montana and brings over a decade of experience to the TMPF communications team. When he isn't working you can find Matt watching baseball, hiking with his family, or being pulled behind a boat.


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