Lee is Resolved
New year, new goals. That’s what they say anyway. For me, and for lots of people, January isn’t really when things start. When I was in school, the year began in August with a new backpack, new teachers, and a clean slate on grades. January was like a mini-refresh. It was the mid-point to classes, then as I got on black scheduling, it was the start of new classes but the same grade. In some ways, New Year’s resolutions make more sense in this framework anyway. You are halfway through, so it’s time to assess, adjust course, and try to finish strong.
That maps onto my VISTA service surprisingly well. I have 4 months left—so technically I am 2/3 of the way through rather than half. But since the first third was largely about observing and learning, let’s go with it. I am also midway in the sense that I have one session of the Career Readiness Program at SEEED under my belt, and I have one still to go. The life cycle of the program fits roughly with my remaining time as a VISTA, so I will recruit, do the program, evaluate and review, then hand over the reins to someone else.
I am, of course, perfect. But on the off chance the next VISTA at SEEED is not, I’ll make resolutions about that.
My hope is that another VISTA, the third year at SEEED, comes in and takes my place. This blog post was good occasion for me to think about what I want to leave behind for that person, so consider this my New Year’s work ‘resolution’: make this job as life-giving and impactful for the next VISTA as I possibly can. That means a variety of things, so I have some mini-resolutions that are part of it. Here’s a list.
- Leave behind a strong group of volunteers and interns as well as materials to recruit and train more.
- Make grant writing as painless as possible, and store resources the VISTA and others will need for this in a way that is easily accessible. Leave funding in a position that the people after me can pitch to donors and foundations from a place of confidence and pride.
- Put together resources for professional development and personal support. VISTA isn’t easy, and no one does it alone. I have been saving training materials and paperwork that would be useful to a new person, and I will complement this with narratives and written advice about what worked for me and didn’t, etc.
- Run a program with phenomenal results, both on paper and in real lives. This will give the staff, volunteers, and VISTAs of SEEED momentum for whatever comes next.
Wish me luck with by resolutions and my next four months!