Kiana’s Korner

As the Family Engagement VISTA at The Learning Community Charter School my primary role is to improve the systems for family engagement and to create and implement new systems. As a VISTA it’s often easy to lose sight of the bigger picture, to get lost in the details of your work and not be able to see the impact that your work is making. I was drawn to doing a year of service for AmeriCorps because I wanted to be a part of something meaningful after graduation and before pursuing a graduate degree. No matter what, I knew I wanted to take a year before going back to school, to make some sort of impact, rather than just working a normal 9 to 5 job and going through the motions. Working in close proximity to other AmeriCorps members whose roles are focused on direct service, I’d be lying if I said I never compared my work with theirs. There were times early in my year of service when I would compare the easily visible and quantifiable progress they were making with students with all of the projects I was working on, and wonder if what I was doing was making any difference. Some days I would get bogged down in that mindset, questioning the impact of all that I was doing, but when I took a step back I began to realize just how much I was actually making an impact. Though my project of collecting student and parent birth information seemed tedious, once I took the time to ponder what that information would lead to, the importance of my role became clear. Not only will this work lead to our faculty and teachers having a greater understanding of the demographics of our families, it is also currently being used to implement a series of meetings with the entire school team to learn more about the families, and help engage more families in each classroom. This project has already had amazing results; demonstrating the incredible diversity of our school–we have families from a total of 31 different countries–and also demonstrating the diversity of each classroom. Despite these revelations, I know that there may still be days when I wonder, but I have also come to realize just what I need to do to remind myself of the importance of my position; take a step back, look at the bigger picture, and remember that even small changes can make a big difference.



About MarisaAnEducationFellow

Hi, everybody. This year I am an AmeriCorps Education Fellow at The Learning Community in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Another team member and myself are part of the InterCorps Council. Enjoy our blog thoughts. Pay it forward!
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