The First Week
So it begins again.
My VISTA position here at Chicago Access Network Television (www.cantv.org) is actually my second year as a VISTA? Why did I sign up again? Did I just enjoy living in poverty THAT much? Let's just say that the combination of public service and media work was just too tempting for me to resist.
Things are a bit different here at CAN TV than they were at the last organization that I served. The first, most noticeable one is its size. The Volunteer Center had only a handful of employees, and really had more VISTAs than staff. CAN TV is a medium sized organization with access to a (somewhat) steady source of income, thanks to a Chicago ordinance that mandates all cable stations in the area dedicate funds to public access television. There's quite a few more employees, and all of them have pretty concrete job responsibilities, instead of slashes (my job was marketing/communications/tech support/social media coordinator at The Volunteer Center).
But when you're a VISTA, some things do remain consistent. The paychecks are consistently small, no matter where you go, but that's something you adapt to. And I think that the initial period of "discovery" is always an interesting one, where you learn about the organization and they learn what you can really do for them. I'm looking forward to finding out more about CAN TV and how I can make an impact on the community through my year of service here.
If anyone is looking for advice from a grizzled veteran VISTA who's still out in the field, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.