Monday, April 27, 2009

Americorps and the PSO

Busy V's

Do you know what a PSO is? Neither did I.

What about TCB, VMSU or VISTA? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Welcome to the world of the US government. Unfortunately, even though I don't receive the benefits (such as all federal holidays off), I still have some of the responsibilities including learning and translating a crazy quantity of acronyms.

Vista (the program I am a part of) was founded in 1965 (Volunteers in Service to America) by President Johnson. The organization was put under a new umbrella of Americorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) by President Clinton in 1993. Other groups which were created in the mid-nineties and put under the CNCS include Teach for America and the Senior Corps.

Vista was created specifically to fight the war on poverty. Every Vista Volunteer works within local organizations which attempt to alleviate poverty within their community.

They also only take on responsibilites which provide indirect service. That means they don't teach kids, feed the hungry or directly serve the poor. We are a capacity building group, we are there to work ourselves out of a job.

We will organize programs, train volunteers, write economic plans. And then we will leave.

We are only there for a year (in most situations). We will come, learn, plan and teach. Then, if all goes well, if we are astute in our observations of need, ability and cultural expectations, if we are careful in our prioritizing and communicating, if we are lucky, our work will be carried on by those in the organization we served and the community we lived.

And the Pre Service Orientation (PSO) is where you learn all that!


Wim said...

So what are you going to be not doing in Sheridan?

Sean said...

Peace Corps was the same as you can probably imagine...