This week we are turning the tables on our blogger and latest Americorps VISTA volunteer, Carley Solether. She grew up in Cleveland, Ohio as an only child. She played soccer in high school and as a freshman was the leading scorer. Her first car was a Chevy Cavalier.
She attended The Ohio University and majored in International Studies and Spanish. After graduation, she didn’t have a clear idea which direction to pursue and however, desired non-profit job experience. She discovered the Americorps VISTA program which is designed specifically to fight poverty. She applied for several different non-profit organizations and Ryan chose her to work with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue. She began her adventure at the club in July 2013 and will be with us until the end of July 2014. Her main focus is capacity-building through social media such as FaceBook, Twitter, WordPress, and Instagram.
Carley enjoys reading, food, art and rock climbing. Her favorite foods are Cinnamon Toast Crunch, steak, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob. Carley loves to speak Spanish and tutors teens in Spanish at The Club. Carley loves everything about the club and how friendly everyone is except for some days when Sam’s cackling laugh from upstairs distracts her (just kidding Sam, keep laughing!).
Once she has completed her assignment with the Boys and Girls Club, she hopes to travel to South America to teach English during the school year and travel the area cheaply by “Wwoof’ing” (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). WWOOFing is an exchange…you usually live with your host and are expected to join in and cooperate with the day to day activities. In most countries the exchange is based on 4-6 hours of help for a fair exchange for a full day’s food and accommodation.
Americorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Authorized in 1964 and founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965, VISTA was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993. VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for 45 years.
VISTA and other lasting antipoverty programs were created by The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to serve the needs of the poorest Americans. Throughout the decades, VISTA evolved to respond to local problems and the changing face of poverty. Today, under President Barack Obama, VISTA is larger, stronger, and more vital than it has ever been. Its 8,000 members—who serve at 1,100 projects nationwide—continue to address the root causes of poverty.
AmeriCorps VISTA members are passionate and committed to their mission to bring individuals and communities out of poverty. Members make a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. They focus their efforts to build the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, and otherwise assist low-income communities.
So the next time you are at the main club, stop by the Admin. House and thank Carley for all her hard work.
By: Rob Gilchrist