As CNHED wraps up our 3rd program year with AmeriCorps VISTA, we say farewell to our current cohort of VISTA volunteers who have dedicated their time and energy to serve at our member organizations, empowering communities in the District. We thank you for your service and wish you all success in your next endeavor!
Many of our VISTAs have some amazing opportunities lined up as they complete their service. Take a look below to see the next stop in their journeys!
Anna Gallicchio has served with Capital Clubhouse, Inc. as the Employment and Education Coordinator of VISTA since June of 2020. In this role, she redesigned community outreach materials and began Capital Clubhouse’s Young Professionals Advisory Board. After her service year ends, she will be continuing her career in community development, focusing on urban sustainability.
Brandi Muller has served with Mi Casa, Inc. as the Impact Measurement Specialist VISTA since onboarding in June of 2020. In this role, she spearheaded an organization-wide data audit and implemented a data management system to track and analyze Mi Casa’s impact on the communities it serves. She also developed a communications toolkit complete with digital resources, blog posts, and social media templates to support the organization’s goal of extending its advocacy reach. After her service year ends, she will be pursuing a graduate degree in Community Leadership with a focus on Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Sheila Naya has served with DC Credit Union as Youth Membership Advisor since June of 2020. In her role she has established one youth leadership award of 1000 dollars, that runs twice a year to reward youths between the ages of 14-24 who are committed to community service. She also established a youth entrepreneurial grant of 1000 dollars, that runs twice a year as well. This grant was created to help young professionals between the ages of 14-40 with their small businesses. With the help of the youth programs manager, Sheila also created a youth run advisory council that works to advise the credit union on how to improve youth banking and programs.
During her tenure she worked to establish a social media marketing plan that will be used for years to come. Her social media skills have increased all DC Credit Union social media interaction by 100%. After her service, Sheila intends to travel for a month. You can catch her on her travel Instagram at: Ms.nayatravels.
After her travels, Sheila is expected to start a full-time position at the Credit Union as a Community Development Officer. She is very excited about her new role and cannot wait to reconnect with the community in-person once the pandemic is contained.
Lexie Smith has served at the John and Jill Ker Conway Residence with Community Solutions as the Peer Leader and Programming Associate since June of 2020. In this role, she worked with the Peer Leaders to run programs such as Bingo, Pet Therapy, and Coffee & Conversation. She also created a building-wide recycling plan, a welcome packet for new move-ins, and organized a community garden for the residents. After her service year ends, she plans to continue her career in housing, as well as pursuing animal welfare work.
Susanna Penfield has served with NACEDA as the Thriving Networks VISTA since June of 2020. Some of her accomplishments in this role include coordinating communication and content for NACEDA’s first ever virtual national conference; producing the NACEDA Family Portrait 2020 report and; and leading efforts to launch the inaugural NACEDA Community Development Council to provide board and staff with diverse expertise and guidance regarding the future of the community economic development field.After her service year ends, Susanna will be pursuing a master’s degree in Gender, Media, and Culture from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Her studies will integrate the technical skills she gained from her service year with previous undergraduate research experience to critically examine how representations in the media may reinforce or subvert social roles and ideologies.
Rachel Wertz has served with Walker’s Legacy as the Eco-System Entrepreneurship Research and Best Practices Support Analyst since June of 2020. In this role, she developed mutually beneficial strategic partnerships with sponsors, funders, and corporate partners, managed all communications and marketing, as well as oversaw, developed, and produced research on the economic challenges and opportunities for multicultural women in entrepreneurship. After her service year ends, Rachel will continue to explore career opportunities in communication and marketing as it relates to community development and women empowerment.
Jacqueline Vélez Lippman has served as the Peer Leadership Program VISTA member at Diane’s House since June of 2020. In this role, she facilitated social programming events to contribute to the sense of community between residents and foster interpersonal relationships between residents and staff. She empowered women and families who have experienced homelessness to create and implement sustainable peer-led initiatives, as well as coordinated and distributed donations of Menstrual Health kits, Colorectal Cancer and Cottonelle screening kits. After her service year ends, Jacqueline will continue to explore opportunities to serve the community at Diane’s House.
T.J. Worthington has served with the SOME Center for Employment Training as the Recruitment & Outreach VISTA since June of 2020. In this role he recruited prospective students, implemented a procedure for enrolling new students in the virtual setting, and contributed to the continued success of SOME’s workforce training program during the Coronavirus pandemic. After his service year ends, T.J. will be pursuing his Master of Arts in International Relations with a China Studies focus at Johns Hopkins SAIS.
CNHED is still recruiting VISTA volunteers for our upcoming cohort starting this summer. Interested? Apply today!