Leading by example...sort of


After a spent the week trying to catch up with all the VISTAs under my care, encouraging them all to blog and read the blogs, I realized I haven't really blogged myself.  What AM I working on?  Well the first three weeks as an official VISTA leader has been a lot about finding a balance between two new roles. 

Role 1 : VISTA Leader at CTC VISTA Project at UMass Boston

This role was a little easier to figure out, since I've got the Project pretty much figured out by now.  In fact, most of these first three weeks have been about helping the Project HQ staff get on the same page and think strategically about where the Project wants to go.  I hosted a little strategic planning retreat at my new apartment in Medford, where we compared assumptions, knowledge of the Project and whittled it all down into some concrete goals and actions for the Project.  Most of the fall will be consumed with populating the new CTC VISTA resource portal and putting the Digest together with Erin.

Role 2: Program Coordinator at massIMPACT

[I just got that title today, mostly because we had to figure out something to put on my new business cards.]  Now, working with massIMPACT is all new.  massIMPACT is a non-profit housed at MassHousing that works to provide support to technology in housing developments accross MA.  So far, it's done work in digital storytelling train-the-trainer projects and partnered with Northeastern University among other things. 

The first three weeks were mostly shadowing my supervisor, Thaddeus Miles, and being amazed at the amount of people he interacts with and is able to remember all their names and stories.  Meeting everyone and figuring out the housing development environment has been fascinating for me because I know a lot about non-profits in Boston but not much about this group.  The funniest part is how amazed folks are that I want to take the T to these meetings - I think it's a combo of fearing for the "white girl" in the Roxbury/Dorchester and not liking to walk on their part.

The other sub-role I have at massIMPACT is project managing the development of a collaboration portal for community digital storytelling facilitators at StoriesforChange.net.  I've been reading as much as I can of emails from all the volunteers who want to build this site for sharing resources, curriculum, and lessons learned while providing place to publish stories as well.  I'm excited because this site is truly a project fueled by the users (and not by a funder or higher power) and I get to work with new VISTA Jessica McCoy at the Center for Digital Storytelling.

D on Audobon's moblog out with CMS Grad studentsOn a personal note, I spent a good amount of free time these past couple weeks seriously thinking and researching my graduate school possibilities.  I highly enjoyed the session at the Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT, especially because I connected with another prospective student (Ms. Audobon, who moblogs and with whom I had way too much in common with for Fate not to be involved) and a few of the current grad students.  Imagine, Danielle at MIT....