VISTA is a branch of the Americorps program designated specifically to fight poverty. A range of people choose to serve as VISTAs, a young man straight out of high school, to a woman since retired. The common thread connecting all of its members is the desire to give back and to make a tangible difference.
VISTA is a hidden treasure of our country. VISTA does not just combat the poverty we see in the everyday world, but seeks to do more by attacking poverty at the roots of its existence, making us take a closer examination of what kinds of poverty exist and what other existing institutions contribute to the cycle of poverty. When we hear the word poverty we often associate it with a lack of income, and while this is one aspect of poverty, there are several others.
In working with TAP, poverty can be viewed as a lack of access to having the tools for self expression. Much of our programming takes place in underserved schools and communities. By introducing youth based theatrical programming we are opening the door for creative expression and in using theatre as a teaching tool we are helping youth learn critical life skills in an interactive and positive way.
VISTA is also helping TAP build capacity in all areas of our programming to reach more youth, inform the community about our services, and to make an impact. So how are we doing this?
I am serving as the Community Relations Assistant and my goal for the year is to increase awareness about TAP in the Community at large.
Elizabeth Kohout, is the Programs Assistant and has the goal of maintaining high quality TAP After School Programming.
This is the first year for the VISTA program here at TAP and hopefully the impact made in the next year will help TAP expand its borders just a little bit more.
Sarah Garza, Community Relations Assistant VISTA