We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.
— César Chávez
Founded as Volunteers in Service to America, VISTA was created by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965 to address poverty and inequality in America. More than 50 years later, we continue to fight against these injustices in society in the seemingly unending “War on Poverty.”
Every year on the last day of March, the country celebrates the life and legacy of César Chávez and his fight for the rights of migrant farm workers; individuals who continue to be some of the most vulnerable in our nation. Max Finberg, Director of AmeriCorps VISTA writes, “Today – and each year on March 31 – as we celebrate the legacy of César Chávez, it is important to recognize the work of the past, acknowledge the ongoing efforts of the present, and recommit ourselves to the challenges of the future.”
National service in the 21st century does not look like national service of 1965; the nature of the work, the structure of poverty and the resources for success have all shifted with the needs and values of today’s society. However, despite the changes over the last five decades, the mission of VISTA has consistently remained to foster community-driven solutions to eliminate poverty for the most vulnerable communities in America.
As the Initiative Foundation looks back on its 15 years as an AmeriCorps VISTA sponsoring organization, we celebrate the achievements and dedication of our AmeriCorps VISTA alumni, the passion of our currently serving VISTAs, and the optimism we hold for our future AmeriCorps VISTAs and the service they will provide to build the capacity of Central Minnesota to eliminate rural poverty.
Consider serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Initiative Foundation to carry forth the legacy of national service and seek “progress and prosperity” in your community.
Apply to serve today!