Meet Kaitlyn Szabo.
Kaitlyn was the AmeriCorps VISTA for Exodus Lending during the 2017-18 service year. It was there that Kaitlyn was able to apply what she learned in school to address social inequalities. As a VISTA, she developed procedures for analyzing reports, streamlined the internal data tracking process, and even created and launched the communications and fundraising plans.
She loved the work she did and the organization so much that she is still at Exodus Lending. She was hired as the Administrative and Development Associate after completing her service year. When asked why she wanted to stay, she says “it’’s a place I felt I could make a difference in the community. My contributions were valued and I felt consistently challenged, making my VISTA experience worthwhile and my decision to stay at Exodus Lending a no-brainer.”
It’s easy to see how her service led to being hired, but she says that VISTA did a lot to prepare her for starting a new role in the nonprofit sector.
“Spending a year focused on capacity-building gave me a truly unique perspective on how a nonprofit works. Even now I continue to hone in on the logistics and sustainability for any project. My goal every day is to make our program as impactful for participants as possible and to ensure we are good stewards of the generous donations from the community.”
In addition to the professional development VISTA provides, Kaitlyn talks about the importance and impact of serving with a cohort. She says, “spending [my service year] with a cohort of other VISTAs doing fantastic work throughout the Twin Cities gave me the perspective I needed to see the bigger picture, and where exactly I fit in it.”
She says it was important for her to learn this as a reminder that no matter what VISTAs are doing or where they are serving, they are never alone.
Thank you for your service, Kaitlyn. Keep up the amazing work!