My Year As an AmeriCorps VISTA

Wille Mae Bolden is nine months into her year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA in the Atlanta office of the HandsOn Network and Points of Light Institute office. She has reflected upon what she has learned, gained and the contributions she has made.

These last nine months have truly been rewarding. During my time with Points of Light Institute and HandsOn Network, I have been thoroughly indoctrinated into a service mindset. What was once a lofty idea - service - has now become a lifelong commitment. I have developed a whole new set of skills and learned a great deal about the service sector, the service movement and how I can be an engaged participant.

I view service as a personal opportunity to give back in a way that has impact and that matters. Points of Light Institute has given me that opportunity through its support in my creating, implementing and managing the organization's internal volunteer program.

I have really enjoyed working with local community volunteers and learning about their lives, passions and aspirations. Developing and managing the local volunteer program has really taught me the value of people and how one person can impact a whole organization. Many days when I come in, I look forward to the welcome smile and cordial greeting volunteers bring with them.

It's wonderful to know that I have been instrumental in opening the door for these volunteers. I am extremely optimistic and hopeful about life beyond my AmeriCorps year, and I am excited about all of the new opportunities in the service sector.