What does it mean to build community? Community engagement versus outreach

By Sam Holte, Development Outreach SpecialistHACER

As someone who has stepped out of one community and into another with the transition of college to the “real world,” a large part of me feels like I have been released into the wild and been told to navigate through a forest path in the dark. I have been told where I am supposed to go, but I don’t yet have the map to get there. This goes for not only my life goals and aspirations, but also for making friends and setting down roots in my neighborhood, city and state.

A guiding light on the path that I have come back to again and again in this journey is thinking about how I am grounded in my work and how HACER is grounded in the community. Learning about community engagement and how it compares to outreach helped me find the questions and explore the answers, a process that I hope I will continue beyond my VISTA experience.