Meet the VISTA - Tiarra

The work of United Way never stops. Luckily, we've enlisted the help of some wonderful, selfless individuals who have recently joined the team as AmeriCorps VISTA Members. AmeriCorp VISTA Members build capacity at nonprofits, like United Way, and help them generate the commitment of private sector resources, encourage volunteer service at the local level, and empower individuals and communities. These members serve full-time for a one-year term. 

Today, we're excited to introduce you to one of four VISTA members, Tiarra. She's our AmeriCorps VISTA Early Education Coordinator.

1. Tell us about yourself. 

I am originally from Alabama. I have a BA in Criminal Justice from the University of South Alabama, and I am currently pursuing my Master’s in Criminal Justice and Leadership Management. I am a mentor (Big) with Big Brothers Big Sisters.  I am an avid reader and self-proclaimed book worm.

2. Tell us about the work you'll be leading. 

I will be leading the program to promote literacy, school readiness and, helping to decrease the dreaded summer slide in early education.

3. What are your and United Way's end goals for this work? 

A goal that we hope to accomplish is joining the Grade Level Reading Network. The Network provides communities involved in the network with tools and a plethora of resources in order to help children read at grade level, be prepared for school, and have better school attendance. 

4. Why is this work important to our community? 

The work I will be doing for United Way is so vital to our community because it provides children a basis for their future. Literacy is so important to all impact areas, if a child understands how important reading is they are able to understand the basics of education, health, basic needs, and income. This skill gets them farther in life.

5. How do you hope to grow as an individual as part of the VISTA program? 

I hope to learn more ways to help my community. I hope to take what I have learned from being a VISTA and expand my knowledge and skills in hopes to start my own non-profit in my hometown.