AmeriCorp VISTA Experience: Ismael Calderón
AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) has one very powerful goal: to support organizations that help eradicate poverty. This goal can be served in many different ways, such as United Way’s commitment to providing education and resources for children and families living in low-income communities. Ismael Calderón Fúnez served his AmeriCorps VISTA year of service with our Success By 6 Program working with in Waukegan, North Chicago, Zion, Round Lake and Beach Park to promote healthy early childhood development to ensure children enter school ready to succeed. Below is his experience.
My journey as AmeriCorps VISTA has left a very strong mark in building my personal and professional future. As with pursuing any goal, there were challenges that came with it.
I decided to come to the United States to contribute something more towards the communities around me. Moving to a new country is always challenging, but pursuing my passion for philanthropy has always been important to me. I was able to do that through AmeriCorps VISTA, which helped me understand the challenges that still affect this country, while addressing such problems as poverty and social inequality in education. Through this pursuit I started to correlate the values of service to others as a universal value that this country holds.
In order to reach this conclusion, I had to become more involved with the needs of the communities I have served and in the same way, it became the best scenario, not only to give my best, but also to know myself as an active social-being with rights and duties to others.