The blog series “Day in the Life” seeks to illustrate what it’s like to be a Serve Philadelphia VISTA. In the posts, current corps members explore what they’re learning from their position, how they’re contributing to their office, and what it means to do a year of service.
My morning officially starts around 8:15am every weekday when I gather my belongings and take the regional rail from North Philly, over the Schuylkill River, to the middle of Center City. I navigate to my building though Suburban Station and take the elevator up to the top floor.
The Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service (OCEVS) is located on the 16th floor of the Municipal Services Building and serves as a hub for all things relating to volunteerism and civic engagement for the city of Philadelphia. Whether you are a preteen looking to volunteer during the summer, a City office or department interested in hosting a VISTA, or a senior citizen wishing to make a difference, someone on our team can help you find what you need.
My position as Impact Engagement Analyst VISTA helps build capacity to ensure efficiency and utilization, two core foundations of OCEVS. My main objectives are to research and coordinate engagement efforts produced by City of Philadelphia offices and departments as well as create resources to host said efforts so they can be useful for anyone who desires them.
In my role, I directly contact City of Philadelphia offices and departments and connect them with my team. Afterwards, my team and I interview them to see what exactly they are doing in relation to engagement, if it has been beneficial to them (as well as the people they are engaging), and if they desire any support. Once these interviews are complete, I curate resources based on what they want and what would be most beneficial. This can look like developing a website, building a database, or anything in between.
My average work day can get really busy depending on the number of projects I am working on, but I get an inside view of a number of departments that I never thought I would have the opportunity to. My VISTA position allows me to be a leader in capacity building and ensures that future engagement efforts are effective for City offices, their targeted communities, and Philadelphia as a whole.
Itohan Asemota is the Impact Engagement Analyst for the Office of Civic Engagement and
Are you interested in being a part of next year's SERVE Philadelphia VISTA Corps? Apply now!