Former ASPiRE participant Nicole Reeder, a May 2017 graduate from Newport News, Va. who majored in psychology, has been accepted for an AmeriCorps VISTA position in New Orleans.
Reeder will serve for one year as the volunteer coordinator for the nonprofit organization Friends of Lafitte Greenway. The organization works to build, program and promote the Lafitte Greenway, a 2.6 mile bicycle and pedestrian trail. Reeder will help develop programs to increase health and wellness for low income residents in the surrounding areas, increase volunteer opportunities/engagement, build relationships within the community and with local universities and work on fundraising efforts for the organization.
“My time in ASPiRE helped me to realize that I wanted to continue volunteering, and by being a VISTA, I will be able to help communities as well as gain work experience to help me nail down exactly what I want to do with my future,” Reeder said.
Reeder credits ASPiRE with helping her to become a more well-rounded person, learning to put others first and to think about the larger impact she could have.
“Community engagement is important to me because I feel as though you cannot consider yourself a resident of a community unless you know the history and you try to connect with all the people in your community despite differences,” she said. “It is important to be engaged in the community because without engagement, you cannot help the community to grow and progress forward.”