Happy AmeriCorps Week! From March 13 through 19, we celebrate the millions of Americans around the country dedicated to serving underprivileged communities through AmeriCorps.
Over the past four years, CIANA has hosted four AmeriCorps VISTAs in partnership with the New York Immigration Coalition. Each of them has contributed greatly to CIANA’s capacity building efforts to better serve immigrant communities, through volunteer coordination, data management, digital communications, and community outreach.
This year, we’re proud to feature Grethel Calero, our current VISTA Volunteer Coordinator. Since joining our team in September 2021, Grethel has helped recruit dozens of volunteers and interns to assist with CIANA’s immigrant-focused services and programs. As a small organization that relies heavily on dedicated volunteers, CIANA is deeply thankful for Grethel’s hard work, leadership, and initiative over the past six months.
Why did you decide to participate in AmeriCorps?
I decided to participate in Americorps because I have always loved helping out in my community and wanted to do it in a greater capacity.
Could you describe your role as an AmeriCorps VISTA at CIANA?
At CIANA I am the intern and volunteer coordinator. I bring in amazing volunteers and interns onboard and place them in appropriate roles.
Have you had any meaningful experiences managing CIANA’s volunteers and interns?
I have had a lot of meaningful moments managing CIANA's volunteers and interns. They all come from different walks of life and bring uniqueness into CIANA's programs. I feel that I have learned and taken a lot from volunteers and interns because of this experience.
How has serving with AmeriCorps and at CIANA impacted your perspective, especially during the pandemic?
Serving with Americorps and CIANA during the pandemic has shown me that no matter how hard circumstances might get, organizations like CIANA are always looking for ways to provide and support its community which is what AmeriCorps is all about!
What difference do you hope you have made in the community?
I hope that I have brought together a team of dedicated interns and volunteers who see the difference and impact they do on a weekly basis.
We once again want to thank Grethel for her dedication to CIANA and our volunteer program.
Visit www.cianainc.org/volunteer to find current volunteer opportunities at CIANA.