The Adventure Begins...

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Release Date: 
Thursday, September 13, 2018

Our VISTA members really dove into service last week! From the streets of New York, the mountains of Montana, the plains of Oklahoma, and the beaches in California, they are enthusiastic to make a difference. Below, we've shared some of their reflections on how their adventure began and why they’re excited and sometimes a little nervous about this year of service. Read on to hear how their adventures began.

- Anna

Settling in to Baltimore has been fun and exciting and slightly overwhelming! My first three days in the office were helpful and fun, as I attended an orientation for Social Work interns who will be working in various public defender offices throughout the state. I was able to learn exactly what my supervisor and other colleagues do as forensic social workers. There was a ton of new info and I'm really excited to be working with passionate and hardworking folks. I really like my new roommates, but they are already really busy as first year pharmacy students at the University of Maryland. There is a pretty white kitty that lives across the street from me that I am trying to persuade to move in with me ;)

Figuring out the public transportation system has gone fairly well thus far, except for trying to get home after my first day of work- I waited at the wrong stop for a solid 30 minutes. I'll just say it was a growth experience. I hope everyone else is doing well! I believe in all of us and our abilities!


There is a silence here in Montana that I have no idea I was missing when I lived in the city. There is an openness to the land that makes both the deer and myself feel like we have space to think and be. My roommates are thoughtful and funny and we are going to costco, then brunch, then hot springs, then apple picking this weekend out of state. I am finding my workplace to be made up of persons who are not only kind and thoughtful but also surprisingly humorous, down to earth, and soft-spoken.

Today we had a work meeting where staff talked about their feelings about the system and another staff member (a psychologist) offered thoughts and insight. Even though I didn't say anything, I felt like I was a part of the community.


My adventure began when I showed up to the building for the first time. Having gone to college in downtown Phoenix, I passed by my (now) office every day. I always thought it was abandoned because I never saw anyone go in or go out. Little did I know that very building would one day play a HUGE part in my future.

It’s been an adjustment switching my mindset from volunteer management to data and the why and the how of the criminal justice system. Prior to this, my experience with criminal justice involved the homeless and figuring out where the clients were after they got arrested and how to ensure they were being taken care of. I also did some transcription work for an estate attorney. Estate law, while fascinating, is definitely something you have to have the personality for. I’m not one of those people but I’m fascinated by everything I’m learning here.

Settling in is going well. It’s been a lot of meeting people and a lot of learning the ins and outs of criminal justice. I’m learning things I never knew before! I can’t wait to get into the crux of this work so I can start applying my new found knowledge to data management. This is such an exciting time!