A Reflection by the Maker VISTA project director
As year two of the Maker VISTA project comes to a close, it is imperative that I take time to recognize and salute Cohort I & II. These foundation cohorts were instrumental in the development and growth of the Maker VISTA project.
For every VISTA member who committed 365 days of service, to the subsite supervisors, supportive partners and Maker Ed staff who rode the roller coaster of shaping Maker VISTA, I send you each a tremendous thank you. I cannot adequately express that who we are, where we are, and where we will be as a VISTA project is due to your hard work, sacrifices, lessons learned, and deep belief to serve our ultimate beneficiary –youth– through the Maker Ed mission. Through this collaboratively and organically forged foundation by the cohorts, we are learning to better employ the interdisciplinary, educational approach of Maker Education as a strategy to lift communities from poverty through youth in community school settings.
These are exciting and inspirational moments as the Maker VISTA project evolves into its intended impact as a poverty intervention for youth and communities. I am proud to salute Cohort I & II and the entire Maker VISTA community as pioneers in Maker Education, as more stories and research emerge on the benefits and impact of making when harnessed as a rich, learning opportunity. In token towards a brighter future for all youth and every child a maker, I wrote a gratitude poem for Cohort I & II.
A Poem for Cohort I & Cohort II
Without you there would be no Maker VISTA, so I thank you.
Every VISTA member and Subsite Supervisor who hopped on the roller coaster and rode to the end
Because of you, the Maker VISTA project is discovering its path to impact
Because of you, there is a community to build upon and progress from
For everyday, moment, or instance you may have thought of leaving- I thank you twice over for staying
Because of you, the journey for every cohort following in your footsteps, becomes one collective step multiplied upon your spectrum of successes.
To see the impact that these individuals have made as a whole, see our VISTAGrad, July 2015 post here.
Amanda Reyes, VISTA Leader
We hope our Maker VISTAs feel appreciated and accomplished after their 365 days of volunteer service. I remember when I completed my first year as a VISTA, their was a sense of having just completed a marathon: it took some time and steady pacing, but I did it! I’m very proud of each of our Maker VISTAs, and we hope that they will stay connected to the Maker VISTA community so we can hear how they are doing and offer support when they need it. Community doesn’t end just because their term ended; I will be here when they need me!
Kelsey Leach, VISTA Leader
I just want to personally thank you for all your hard work. I have enjoyed getting to know all of you in the work environment and on a more personal level. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. I hope you will stay and touch and if you need anything from me don’t hesitate to reach out.