AmeriCorps VISTA Spotlight
Having completed the first quarter of her VISTA service year with the Mercy Corps Northwest VISTA team, Leah Guliasi has wasted no time demonstrating the impact that VISTA members can bring to their communities. Leah serves at the Warm Springs Community Action Team (WSCAT)– a Mercy Corps Northwest VISTA sponsoring site that serves residents of the Warm Springs Indian reservation. There, Leah is reaching out to community members to introduce herself as well as WSCAT’s programs that are available to the members of this community.
The Warm Springs Community Action Team is a nonprofit organization serving community members of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation. With a focus on financial independence and small business development, Leah and the team of WSCAT staff members promote these resources in the community, organize community events – such as the native artisans’ cooperative and market currently in the works – and use surveys and needs assessments to make their services responsive to the community’s interests.
Leah’s contributions to these efforts can already be seen in the Warm Springs community – in addition to her daily resource-building efforts in the WSCAT office, she is a frequent guest on local radio programs, she has attended WCAT’s full schedule of financial classes to learn the curriculum and meet fellow students, and she is analyzing local surveys to help steer WSCAT’s future plans.
Leah’s accomplishments as a VISTA are just one example the AmeriCorps VISTA program’s impact, and the unique benefits that Mercy Corps Northwest’s VISTA members are bringing to the Oregon communities they serve.