She supports the evaluation and expansion of the Resident Services program, develops programmatic procedures and policies for new and existing services, as well as implements new systems for program evaluation. Her contributions as a VISTA have included:
- Leading specific projects including a portfolio-wide 2020 Census campaign and a family art program in partnership with Neighborhood Associates in D.C.
- Support for grant proposal/writing which produced over $395,000 in new grant-funding, including a multi-year award totaling $300,000.
- Integration and launch of a new grant management system for Resident Services, which is currently being adapted organization-wide, and
- Improvement of program data tracking, reporting and documentation at the community-level.
Selena has the unique experience of understanding the demands of her role pre- and post-pandemic. Before the pandemic, Selena participated in onsite community events, met with community leaders and was very active in her office (she’s definitely known to be a talker!).
Post-pandemic, Selena’s project has incorporated coronavirus relief efforts to alleviate added barriers and challenges as a result of the global health pandemic. As a result, she has supported efforts to connect residents with local food distributions, provide in-home computer access, and update residents on the available assistance programs in their community.
As Selena wraps her second and final service year with NHT in March 2021, she does so with an offer for a full-time position with the organization! To anyone considering hosting an AmeriCorps VISTA or being a VISTA member, Selena wants people to know that programs like AmeriCorps VISTA are not only necessary to fill capacity gaps at a low-cost for local organizations, but also incredibly beneficial for entry-level job seekers looking for ‘on-the-ground’ experience. The lessons she has learned from those in her field and at her organization have been immensely helpful to her overall professional growth. Selena is very excited to continue her work with the communities she serves at NHT and looking forward to expanding her capabilities.