Cody Miller (he/him) acts as the Director of Service Initiatives at York College of Pennsylvania and is the supervisor of the current AmeriCorps VISTA, Dylan Warner. Read on to learn more about what being a VISTA Supervisor means to Cody!
Tell us a little about the organizations and partners that help make this project a reality.
The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) at York College facilitates partnerships between the academic resources and service initiatives of the College and the greater York community. The AmeriCorps VISTA at York College supports Generations of Hope (GOH), a mentorship and leadership development program that connects York College student mentors with local York City middle school students.
How has having a VISTA impacted your organization?
The AmeriCorps VISTA for Generations of Hope has advanced the mission of GOH in significant ways through his capacity-building work. Over the past year, he has developed training modules for student leaders, worked collaboratively to deepen and strengthen the program's curriculum, streamlined program assessment initiatives, and supported efforts to expand the GOH program to a second middle school in the district. Perhaps most importantly, his thoughtful approach to leadership development has empowered the GOH student leader team to carry the vision and work of GOH forward.
What were some tactics you used to effectively supervise your VISTA?
I've tried to center three principles when supervising the VISTA for GOH: communication, empowerment, and celebration.
What would you consider the biggest success of your VISTA?
Within his first few weeks, the VISTA for GOH began to establish infrastructure to support an entirely virtual model for the program, which had been traditionally on-site and in-person. This early capacity-building work was essential to the success of the virtual model for GOH this year, and provided a meaningful platform for us to continue some of the virtual elements of the program in the future as we transition back to a largely in-person mentorship program.
How has supervising a VISTA differed from other supervisory roles you may have had at the institution or elsewhere?
In a day-to-day capacity, supervising the VISTA for GOH has been very similar to my experience in other supervisory roles. One difference is that the VISTA for GOH also has responsibilities for reporting directly to Campus Compact and AmeriCorps.
What is a piece of advice you can give to organizations interested in recruiting a VISTA?
It's a great opportunity for an organization and for the VISTA! It can be really meaningful for a VISTA when an organization can invest in ongoing professional development opportunities that support the VISTA's current role as well as the career they hope to pursue after AmeriCorps.
Welcome to the CCNYPA*VISTA Blog, written for VISTAs, by VISTAs!