This post is part of our series of recurring “VISTA Snapshots”, each featuring a current member of the SERVE Philadelphia VISTA corps. We hope these posts will help our readers to learn a little bit more about us, SERVE Philly VISTAs, and even just what it’s like in general to live & serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA member. This post features Charles Porter , who is currently serving as the US2020 Development and Fundraising Coordinator at the Mayor’s Office of Education
Hometown: Battle Creek, MI
College Attended: Western Michigan University
What did you study? Advertising, Gender Studies, and Global and International Studies
How long have you been a VISTA with SERVE Philadelphia? 10 Months
How did you decide to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA? I was seeking a new opportunity for professional development and to serve while staying in the City of Philadelphia.
What is the most challenging aspect of your service as a VISTA? Perhaps the most challenging aspect of my VISTA service has been balancing multiple independent work projects with department and SERVE Philly obligations. Balancing work projects with personal life goals can also be a tremendous challenge at times.
How have you benefited from being a SERVE Philadelphia VISTA? I have greatly benefited from my experiences working in City Hall, going to essential networking events, and honing my grant writing skills.
How do you manage living on a VISTA stipend? How has it affected your lifestyle? Definitely prioritize free and cheap events over others when trying to have fun and socialize. Meal planning is also very important. This hasn’t been much different than my lifestyle before but working in Center City has made it much more tempting to spend money in excess.
What’s your favorite hobby? I enjoy old and new video games a lot and as summer approaches I hope to play more ultimate Frisbee and tennis whenever possible.
There’s a zombie apocalypse. You are one of only 5 survivors. Who do you hope survives with you and why? What is your weapon of choice? I hope the other survivors are individuals with strong mental fortitude and emotional intelligence which is key in any high functioning team. My weapon of choice is community service.
Learn more about the Serve Philadelphia VISTA program and apply!