Hello Maker World, I’m Jeremy, the “middle child” of the three new staff members of the Maker Ed Family. I am truly happy to be joining Maker Ed as the first VISTA Leader. You may be thinking, what’s a VISTA? Good question! AmeriCorps VISTAs are individuals dedicated to eliminating poverty within the United States. We help build capacity within community organizations that work in low-income neighborhoods.
After 4 days, 2095 miles of driving, and a pit stop at the Grand Canyon, I arrived in Oakland, California from Memphis, Tennessee. Which can serve as a reasonable explanation for this fashionably late blog post. I am a native Memphian and in true Memphis style, a lover of Blues, BBQ, and the Grizz Nation! Prior to my cross-country adventure, I served as a VISTA Member, working as a Community Relations and Volunteer Coordinator to help to build the capacity of organizations who worked with youth and families who had members of their family who were incarcerated or who had been previously incarcerated.
While in high school I participated in a program that placed emphasis on engineering and design. We did everything from design Mouse Trap Cars to Crystalline structures. My interest in sound led me to take classes in engineering because I thought that I wanted to be a sound engineer and design some type of new sound equipment. However, my love for creating sound through music overshadowed my interests in engineering and I refocused my attention to music.
I never identified myself as a “maker” prior to coming to Maker Ed, yet I’ve been making for as long as I can remember. As a musician, making music has always been part of my DNA. I began playing drums in church as a child and it followed me throughout my life. Somewhere over time, I also picked up piano. While attending college at Middle TN State University where I majored in, Mass Communications with a concentration in Public relations, I also worked as a musician in the Nashville, TN area playing drums and keyboards for several independent artist and church fellowships. I was co-musical director and a founding member of the Nashville area band Da Truth. We were the backing band for the Atlanta based Artist, Weetu. Check us out!
I am excited to join such an awesome organization like the Maker Education Initiative and the great work it does expanding making opportunities to youth across the nation. I’m even more excited to have the opportunity to work with our 10 amazing California VISTA members.