The AmeriCorps VISTA mission is to build the capacity of organizations that work to alleviate poverty. For Prosperity Indiana VISTA members, this takes the form of helping the organization better serve its members through managing networks, providing technical assistance, and supporting member communications. Prosperity Indiana is currently recruiting four VISTA positions: two will replace current VISTA members Allegra Maldonado, Assets & Opportunity Network VISTA, and Kaytlin Eastes, Member Capacity Builder VISTA, while two more (Resource Development VISTA and Communications & Events VISTA) will build Prosperity Indiana’s capacity in new ways.
When asked what drew her to AmeriCorps VISTA, Kaytlin said, “After college, I knew I wanted to work in the nonprofit sector, but I wasn’t exactly sure where. This VISTA position with Prosperity Indiana has allowed me to explore many different facets of not only the organization itself, but also of the broader community development field.” Allegra shared a similar motivation, saying, “I was drawn to AmeriCorps VISTA because I wanted to gain experience in a public service career. Specifically, I was drawn to the Assets & Opportunity Network because I was concerned with how the inter-related issues of income and wealth inequality constrain choice and opportunity for low- and moderate-income families.”
Much of Kaytlin’s work has focused on building the capacity of not only Prosperity Indiana, but also of its members. In addition to providing internal communications, member services, and Outcomes Platform support, she provides free, short-term technical assistance to Prosperity Indiana members. “One thing I have loved about this position is the variety in my work,” Kaytlin said. “Not only have I learned about the operations and management of Prosperity Indiana, but I’ve also learned about affordable housing, payday loan alternatives, and measuring organizational impact.”
Allegra’s work centers on the Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network. The Network was created to increase asset acquisition for low-wealth Hoosiers and strengthen local economies through policy advocacy and capacity building in partnership with organizations and coalitions. Allegra has spent time raising awareness in communities about the negative financial effects of taking out a payday loan and consumer protections that exist to support consumers as they navigate the marketplace of financial products and services. Additionally, she has explored new initiatives to help Hoosiers build wealth, including programs related to retirement savings, the racial wealth gap, and culturally competent approaches to financial coaching.
Prosperity Indiana’s VISTAs have not only built capacity within the organization over the past months, they’ve also developed their own capacities as professionals. Allegra said, “During my service term, I’ve learned about technical aspects of community development, asset building, and nonprofits, as well as more about the diverse communities living in Indiana. I have had many ‘firsts,’ including writing my first grant, facilitating my first meeting, and attending my first staff/board retreat. These experiences allowed me to develop certain skills universally valued in the workplace, such as concise and polished writing and confidence networking with individuals in diverse sectors. “
If you, or someone you know, would be a good fit for AmeriCorps VISTA, please review Prosperity Indiana’s VISTA positions listed below. Interested applicants can contact Executive Director Jessica Love (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information. If you have questions about VISTA service in general, contact Kaytlin (email@example.com) or Allegra (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Assets & Opportunity Network VISTA – manages the Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network.
Capacity Builder & Impact VISTA – provides technical assistance to Prosperity Indiana members on short-term projects.
Communications & Events VISTA – leads Prosperity Indiana’s communications, marketing, and event planning efforts.
Resource Development VISTA – leverages financial and other support for Prosperity Indiana programs.