Latest from VISTA

Monday, January 28, 2019

VISTA members come from all walks of life, and bring with them a variety of experiences that have helped shape their passion for service. Our VISTAs experiences have served to both strengthen their resolve for justice and have proved invaluable to the Defending Communities in Service program. Join us as we explore how our members turned life lessons into action as they dedicate themselves to a year of service.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Thank you all so much for being a part of Defending Communities in Service this year. We've had such an incredible first year and we couldn't have done it with out each of you. Over the course of the last twelve months we've launched our project, doubled in size, served for more than 11,000 hours in communtiies across the country, and learned so much. As we move into 2019 we can't wait to continue this journey and to bring you along with us.

Best wishes for the new year,

Emily, Kameryn, and Anna



Tuesday, December 11, 2018

I met my friend Cece at the very beginning of our AmeriCorps journey. We attended pre-service orientation in Philly together, and I was immediately struck by her vibrant style and laid back personality. After some conversation, we realized we had many  hared experiences (and live pretty close to each other in New Jersey!). As she took some time to catch up with me recently, I was deeply impressed with the wealth of knowledge she shared about persistence and being true to one's self.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Carly, our VISTA member in Guam, recently sat down for an interview with Deondra, our VISTA member in Oklahoma. Read on to learn more about serving in Guam.

Deondra: When you are not working what do you do for fun while in Guam?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

This month, we asked all of the VISTA members to interview one another to help us all to get to know one another a little better. Below, Amanda interviewed Tanisha uncovering her ambitious career goals and shedding light on what the future of justice reform might hold. 

What is your field of study for your Masters program?

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Check us out! In their October 2018 white paper on Texas Mental Health Defender Programs the Texas Indigent Defense Commission featured one of our pilot year sites and our VISTA, Yamilex Peña, who is serving with them!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

It is Monday morning. I wake up, miss breakfast, wait in traffic, and turn a 25-minute drive into a 40-minute drive. Sitting in the parking for 10 minutes, I enjoy the moments of peace and solitude.  I enter the courthouse and begin my workday. It’s 8:20 am. The first 5 minutes is me finishing the breakfast I missed. Throughout my morning, I check my email for updates from my supervisors. I first edit any materials I created the days before. I will go down my to-do list and check what materials I still need to create, work on, or get approved. My phone will beep.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A Day in the Life of a Texas VISTA - part 1

Friday, October 5, 2018

Anna and I attended an event by the Marshall Project on Monday titled What’s the Story: Criminal Justice and Narrative Change. The topic of the conversation centered around one question essential to understanding the current state of our justice system: How did we get here? The panelists convened by the Marshall Project had varying fields of expertise and experience relating to policy and justice, creating a unique dialogue about change and progress. They each expressed their beliefs on the origin of our system’s inadequacies.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

We started our Monday morning with the question “How did we get here?” How did we get to incarcerating the most people at the highest rate in the world? How did we get to the place where 700,000 people leave our jails and prisons every year, many without support? How did we get to the place where we incarcerate black people at five times the rate we incarcerate white people?