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It's a wrap! Highlights from our VISTA Conference
A tour of the Minnesota State Capitol. Discussions about equity and inclusion. Sessions on building organizational and community change. Planning for life after AmeriCorps VISTA.
These were just a few of activities and themes at the 2017 Tri-State VISTA Conference we convened at Hamline University last month.

The conference was attended by 121 VISTAs (Volunteers In Service to America) currently serving full-time at nonprofits, schools and community-based organizations throughout Minnesota and the Dakotas. Its goal? To provide VISTAs with skill-building opportunities, practical tools and concepts to take back to their sites, and a chance to connect with others doing national service.

91% of attendees surveyed said the conference was valuable, and plenary speakers like Julia Dinsmore (author of the poem, My Name is Not 'Those People'') were given high marks.

Why invest in VISTAs?
The impact VISTAs make in their communities is well-documented. But national service also profoundly impacts the lives of VISTAs themselves. According to a recent AmeriCorps alumni outcomes study, those who complete national service are highly likely to vote, stay involved in community service and further their education. See more of the study's results.
"I loved the opportunity to meet the session presenters  incredible people who are out making real change in the world."

"It was refreshing to be reminded of the cause I agreed to serve. I was losing passion, and this event gave me a boost."

"Presenters did their thing with attention and enthusiasm."
3 thank yous!
{Our work is possible thanks to your generous support for literacy.}
A picture of Winter Tales event readers and their teacher
THANK YOU TO....
the Minneapolis Insitute of Art (Mia) for inviting us to train their docents on giving tours to English language learners. Students from our Open Door Learning Center-Arlington Hills were then invited to visit the museum! Read more about the initiative.

 
AmeriCorps VISTA logo
THANK YOU TO....
the 700 authors and artists who submitted work for the 2017 edition of Journeys: An Anthology of Adult Student Writing. This year's publication will feature a new cover design and a 16-page guide for using the book as a teaching tool. Follow our new Journeys Facebook page to get a first look at writing from this year's authors!
Staff pose with new computer monitors
THANK YOU TO....
Goodwill-Easter Seals and the Hubbs Center for Lifelong Learning for partnering with us on Youthbuild, a program funded by the Department of Labor. Youthbuild offers GED preparation, digital literacy instruction and construction trades training to out of school youth ages 16-24. A few spots are still available; enroll or make a referral today!
Join us!
{Upcoming events and other ways you can get involved.}
March 4-11 is AmeriCorps week and a great time to support national service!
The New York Times recently reported that the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which finances AmeriCorps VISTA, is among the agencies identified for possible elimination by the White House budget office.

The Minnesota Literacy Council receives significant CNCS funding for VISTA programming. Eliminating this agency would constitute a devastating blow to our work.
Here's how you can show your support:
Have you seen our new donate page? We've redesigned it to be more user-friendly. Test it out (give today)!
 
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