Three AmeriCorps VISTA’s Reflect on Their Year of Service

Over the past year, I have had the immense pleasure of serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Elder Law of Michigan. It is incredibly hard to believe that an entire year has flown by.

As I look back on this past year, it amazes me how much I have grown not only as a professional, but as a person. My position as Education and Communication Coordinator forced me to think and work in new ways, and I am confident that the things I learned and skills I acquired over the past year will benefit me for a lifetime.

Elder Law of Michigan is a remarkable organization – but more importantly, so are the staff and volunteers that make up the organization. I feel truly fortunate to have been able to work closely with so many different people – and I attribute all of my successes and proud moments as a VISTA to their compassion, guidance, and mentoring. Working at Elder Law of Michigan has ignited my passion for helping older adults, a passion I intend to pursue for many years to come.

Annalise Stromsta, AmeriCorps VISTA: Education & Communication Coordinator

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For the past year I have served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Elder Law of Michigan.  In my role as Fund Development Assistant I have been able to do so many things.  I also learned quite a bit in my twelve months with ELM and I am very thankful to everyone who played a part in my VISTA year.  During my time in Michigan, my scope of learning has spanned from legal jargon to cleaning the snow off of my car.

Many things have changed at Elder Law of Michigan in my time here, but from beginning to end this year has been about service. However, I know it has taken much more than dedication to service to finish my year as a VISTA and I am very grateful to everyone that helped me along the way. Even as I pack up my desk, it is hard to believe my VISTA experience is at an end.   I finished what I started and I helped older adults live a better quality of life.  I will never forget that something as simple as One Call for Help can make all the difference!

Caroline Scott, AmeriCorps VISTA: Fund Development Assistant

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A couple of weeks ago I was explaining the culture of Elder Law of Michigan to a potential volunteer and as I was talking my arms covered with goosebumps.  I was overwhelmed with how proud I felt to be apart of Elder Law of Michigan.  The time I have spent with this organization has been phenomenal.

It is hard to believe that 12 months ago I was just starting at Elder Law of Michigan as an AmeriCorps VISTA member. During my year of service I was able to train, manage, and coordinate over forty new volunteers who contributed nearly 2500 hours, which is valued at $88,600.  Although these numbers do not reflect the number of clients, cases, and projects that volunteers helped with, they do reflect their dedication which never ceases to amaze and inspire me.

AmeriCorps VISTA and Elder Law of Michigan provided me the opportunity to create, improve, and manage programs to make them my own.  I feel so honored to have worked with the amazing and diverse team here at Elder Law of Michigan.  Their knowledge and support has shaped me professionally and personally.  I am very grateful and excited to continue working with Elder law of Michigan.

Alexis Ringman, AmeriCorps VISTA: Volunteer and Staff Development Coordinator

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