How to Serve as a VISTA Member

Are you interested in National Service? Would you like to make a difference in one of Colorado’s many vibrant communities? Are you looking for an opportunity to gain hands on experience in the nonprofit sector and build skills to further your professional and/or educational goals?

Serving as a VISTA is a great way to gain tangible skills in nonprofit administration, network with local, regional and state leaders and learn more about a new community. CRC has several positions open for summer 2019 start dates. We are looking for VISTAs to serve in either CRC’s Denver-based office or in one of our rural-based host sites. Please read below to learn more about CRC’s VISTA program and our open positions.

What are the benefits of serving through CRC’s VISTA program?

As an AmeriCorps VISTA member you will:

  • Gain indirect service experience and skills in nonprofit best practices
  • Serve a full-time for one year at a host site organization in rural Colorado
  • Receive an annual living stipend and eligibility to access to healthcare and child care
  • Upon completion of service will be eligible to receive education award of $6,095 or end-of-year stipend of $1,800
  • Attend CRC member orientation at the beginning of your term and have access to free professional development opportunities throughout the year
  • Gain free access to the Colorado Grants Guide platform to support your grant research and grantwriting efforts.
  • Receive ongoing coaching, guidance and support from CRC staff and VISTA Leaders
  • Become part of a statewide network of national service members and build lasting relationships in our state’s vibrant communities

I’m ready to serve! How do I apply?

Start by exploring all of our open positions by clicking the button below. Identify positions that are of interest to you and submit your application directly through My.AmeriCorps.gov

Once you submit your application a CRC VISTA Leader will reach out to set up an initial interview. We then invite selected candidates to participate in a second and final interview with the site supervisor to ensure a good fit with the organization. Many of our positions are competitive, so please submit your application early!

If you have questions about the application process or one of our posted positions, please reach out to VISTA Leader, Corie Ufert at email hidden; JavaScript is required or 303-623-1540 x180

Learn about our current VISTA Members!

Corie Ufert

Title: Statewide Social Media Associate
Host Site: Marketing and Reporting VISTA Leader
Location: Denver, CO

Member Bio

Corie hails from Houston, Texas originally, but she’s spent the last few years on the road. After graduating with her B.S. in Public Health & Epidemiology she served her first term of AmeriCorps VISTA in eastern Oregon, working to prevent opioid overdoses in rural communities. Next, she moved to West Virginia to continue this work on behalf of the CDC Foundation. She is currently pursuing her M.P.H in Health Marketing and Promotion through George Washington University. Corie is passionate about giving back and uplifting others in her work and free time. Her hobbies also include hiking, cooking, painting, and spending time with her pug, Luna.

Liza Cooney

Title: Program Associate
Host Site: Bright Futures
Location: Telluride, CO

Member Bio

Liza is from Falmouth, ME. She just graduated in May from Wheaton College in Massachusetts, where she studied psychology with a minor in biology. With her psych major, she’s currently interested in pursuing nonprofit work or public health. Although there are all sorts of areas within nonprofit work that she likes, one of her top interests is early childhood education. That is why she is super excited to be to serving with Bright Futures as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Outside of work, she loves to play sports such as soccer, running, and Nordic skiing. She also enjoys music and spending time outdoors. She is grateful for this opportunity and is excited to volunteer with AmeriCorps VISTA.

Hannah Rose

Title: Outreach and Impact Associate
Host Site: Community Resource Center
Location: Denver, CO

Member Bio

Hannah is from a suburb Northwest of Chicago and graduated from the University of Denver in 2018 with a degree in International Studies and minors in Public Policy and French. As an undergraduate, Hannah spent the majority of her time working to end sexual violence on DU’s campus. She managed policy and strengthened education and advocacy efforts as the Executive Secretary of Collegiate Gender Violence Topics for the undergraduate student population. She was also a Violence Prevention Peer Educator for the DU Health and Counseling Center for three years, training community members in bystander intervention. Before becoming an AmeriCorps VISTA member, Hannah was also an Outreach Fellow at New Era Colorado. When she’s not at work she can be found playing with her roommate’s dogs, spending time with her loved ones and exploring everything that Colorado has to offer.  Hannah is looking forward to being able to integrate her skills in community outreach and program development to assist the communities who need it most in the state she calls her second home.

Halle Leganza

Title: Communications, Engagement & Food Security Coordinator
Host Site: Good Food Collective
Location: Durango, CO

Member Bio

Halle is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana. She received her B.A. in Philosophy with a minor in American Sign Language Interpreting from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. She began working in restaurants and bakeries during her undergrad. This sparked a deep love and interest in the role food plays in our lives. In Durango, she’s committed to helping reinstate an intact regional food system because she believes that, through food, we can build a vibrant economy, steward our natural resources, and support the physical and cultural health of our community. In her downtime she can be found tearing through a good book, or enjoying anything the outdoors has to offer.

Anna Toth

Title: Rural Engagement Associate
Host Site: Community Resource Center
Location: Denver, CO

Member Bio

Anna is from Arlington, Virginia and graduated from James Madison University with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Women and Gender Studies. Before serving with Americorps, Anna was the Research Assistant for the National Association of State Boards of Education, as well as the Development and Donor Relations intern with Selah Freedom. Anna’s prior experience in information tracking, data mapping, and generating reports will help her serve CRC’s mission to support nonprofits in rural Colorado. She is excited to use her knowledge and skills to serve those communities in Colorado who need the most help, as well as learn about all of the great work that these organizations are doing for their communities. As she is brand new to Colorado, when Anna is not working she can be found exploring all that Denver and Colorado has to offer!

Rebecca Favero

Title: Program Development Assistant
Host Site: La Plata Collaborative Management Program
Location: Durango, CO

Member Bio

Rebecca Favero is originally from Minnesota but has been based in the Durango/Mancos, CO area for the last five years. The majority of her professional experience has been spent working with at risk youth struggling with their mental and emotional health in various capacities such as addiction, depression, anxiety, trauma, etc. Open Sky Wilderness Therapy, where Rebecca previously worked, is a completely outdoor, holistic program that focuses on using communication skills, mindfulness practices, healthy eating, primitive skills/wilderness survival skills, and community/connection as the template for the healing journey of the youth. She has also worked as an herbalist and a doula. Rebecca loves all plants, walking in the woods, making music, and connecting with those dear to her. She’s excited to work with La Plata Youth Services and to be of service to the youth and their families in the La Plata community.

Nicole Rodriguez

Title: Community and Resource Development Associate
Host Site: La Puente Home Inc.
Location: Alamosa, CO

Member Bio

Nicole Rodriguez is originally from San Antonio Texas. She is a graduate from Texas State University in San Marcos Texas. She Majored in Art and minored in Mass Communication. While in college Nicole was in service organizations and worked at the college radio station. Nicole also went on service trip to Costa Rica and after that she knew she wanted to work for a non-profit. Nicole is excited to work as a VISTA at La Puente Home Inc. and to use her Mass Communication skills she learned in college. When she is not working Nicole looks forward to exploring Colorado, crafting, and taking photos.

John Arenas

Title: Communication and Development Assistant
Host Site: Hispanic Affairs Project
Location: Montrose, CO

Member Bio

John arrived in Montrose, Colorado in February 2019 to serve as a VISTA with the Hispanic Affairs Project (HAP), where he will be assisting with communications and development. He is looking forward to expanding the efforts of HAP to engage with the Hispanic community, and promoting the integration of the Hispanic community in Western Colorado. Originally from Baltimore, John studied journalism at the University of Maryland. He has worked as an English teacher in Spain and Argentina, and has also worked in communications for a Baltimore-based web design company. In his free time he is looking forward to exploring the natural beauty of the area surrounding Montrose.

Melinda McFarland

Title: Development Coordinator
Host Site: San Luis Valley Great Outdoors
Location: Alamosa, CO

Member Bio

Melinda McFarland has spent the last eight years as a seasonal national park ranger traveling and working across the United States. She has enjoyed exploring and teaching others about the caves of Utah, the Arizona desert, the swamps of Louisiana, the coast of Maine and is excited to be back in the place she calls home: the west. While working for the National Park Service, she saw firsthand what public lands and the outdoors mean to people and wanted to get more involved in helping underserved communities gain access to the benefits of outdoor recreation. She is excited to be serving as the Development Coordinator for San Luis Valley Great Outdoors, whose mission is to develop a long term plan for trails and outdoor recreation for the San Luis Valley. As a VISTA member, Melinda is excited to promote and increase access to the recreational opportunities close to the communities she serves. In her spare time, Melinda enjoys the outdoors through hiking, exploring, and often behind a pair of binoculars watching birds. On lazier days she embraces being a cat lady to three adorable cats and is learning to bake in the high altitude of Colorado.

Margaret Morgan

Title: Fundraising, Outreach and Event Coordinator
Host Site: Mountain Roots Food Project
Location: Gunnison, CO

Member Bio

Margaret grew up in North Carolina, where she was lucky enough to have a garden in her yard, and a love for food and spending time outdoors was fostered. After graduating from Florida State University with majors in Advertising and Studio Art, she has spent her time leading a variety of outdoor education trips of all kinds, including ski instructing in Colorado, and leading backpacking trips in Wyoming and Iceland. She supplemented her outdoor instructing life with remote graphic design and marketing work. She is passionate about providing experiential education in many forms to students of all ages and finding more sustainable ways of living. Margaret is a  lover of skiing, climbing, and pottery. She landed in Gunnison after a year facilitating outdoor education and leading expeditions based in Yangshuo, China. She is working as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Mountain Roots Food Project as the Fundraising, Outreach, and Events Coordinator, and is excited to be involved in creating a healthier and more localized food system.

Evan Bolt

Title: Planning Coordinator
Host Site: Town of Paonia
Location: Paonia, CO

Member Bio

Evan spent the first 25 years of his life living and learning in Kansas. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at Washburn University in 2016 and completed his Master of Public Administration program at Wichita State University in 2018. He relocated to the Western Slope upon graduation and served as a Senior Accountant for Gunnison County.  The combination of his education and experience in local government urged him to apply to be the Planning Coordinator VISTA for the Town of Paonia. He is ecstatic to give back to such a unique and inspiring community by writing Paonia’s Master Plan, a document that will help guide the community in a sustainable manner for years to come.

Katherine Valicenti

Title: Engagement & Development Coordinator
Host Site: Headwaters Alliance
Location: Creede, CO

Member Bio

Katie grew up in Horseheads, New York where she spent every summer at Seneca lake cultivating her love for the environment and water. She graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a BA in Environmental Studies. She hopes to take all that she has learned and apply it directly to working as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Creede, CO as Headwaters Alliance’s Community Engagement Coordinator. For the next year she will be working to cultivate a sustainable environmental and economic future for the Rio Grande Headwaters through community engagement, restoration, education, and innovation.

Lorena Jurado

Title: Development Associate
Host Site: Boys & Girls Club of the San Luis Valley
Location: Alamosa, CO

Member Bio

Lorena Jurado is a West Texas native and a recent Texas A&M graduate where she obtained a B.S. in Recreation, Parks & Tourism Sciences. She has experience in resource, community and youth development through her work in city government and youth-oriented non-profits. As an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Boys & Girls Club of the San Luis Valley, she hopes to bring her knowledge and skills to enable the organization to identify funding opportunities, develop data management systems and other capacity building projects. In her free time, you will find her reading, going on outdoor adventures or learning new recipes.

Elise Neidecker

Title: Donor & Volunteer Engagement Associate
Host Site: Community Resource Center
Location: Denver, CO

Member Bio

Elise is a Columbus, Ohio native and a recent graduate of Kenyon College where she earned her B.A. in Sociology, French, and Spanish. Having discovered a passion for community development during high school and college, Elise is thrilled to be serving in a capacity building role as an AmeriCorps VISTA with CRC. Elise has had the opportunity to build her nonprofit administration skills through internships with organizations both at home and abroad, including Catholic Social Services and Local Matters in Columbus, Ohio, Sprout City Farms in Denver, Colorado, and Acción del Consumidor in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She also brings volunteer management insight to her role from her experience organizing volunteer opportunities for the members of Kenyon’s community service organization. In her free time, Elise can be found cooking, exploring, or sipping a cappuccino at a local coffee shop.

Mara Gwin

Title: Organizational & Resource Development Associate
Host Site: Lake County Build A Generation
Location: Leadville, CO

Member Bio

Mara Gwin grew up in Berthoud, Colorado, earning a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy- Values and Social Policy from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Upon graduation she traveled, volunteered and worked throughout New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia, and Europe. She is excited to return to her home state as an Organizational and Resource Development VISTA at Lake County Build a Generation.

Meg Mercier

Title: Project Coordinator VISTA
Host Site: Rio Grande Farm Park
Location: Alamosa, CO

Member Bio

Meg grew up in Bailey, Colorado and has returned to the state after attending Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon where she graduated with a BA in Spanish Language and Culture as well as a BS in Political Science with a focus in Civic Engagement. As a student government officer, Meg had the opportunity to work closely with Ashland City Government on a Fair Housing campaign as a liaison to the Housing and Human Services Commission. After graduation, Meg had the opportunity to work with indigenous peoples in South Dakota and Minnesota on land restoration and preservation projects. She is excited to continue supporting this type of work through her position with the Rio Grande Farm Park. Meg is often found reading, drinking tea, doing yoga, gardening, and learning about wild plants.

Tekoa Shalom

Title: Program Assistant VISTA
Host Site: Family and Intercultural Resource Center
Location: Silverthorne, CO

Member Bio

Tekoa is a lifelong learner and professional student at heart. He has held numerous positions throughout his professional career, and is grateful for the opportunity to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA and make a positive impact on the Community!

BA – Exercise Science (Colorado Mesa University)

MS – Human Environmental Science (University of Alabama)

Graduate Certificate – Mediation (University of Phoenix)

Graduate Certificate – Human Resource Management (University of Phoenix)

Graduate Certificate – Accounting (University of Phoenix)

MPH – Public Health (University of New England – in progress)

Alora Lind

Title: Research & Program Assistant VISTA
Host Site: La Plata Youth Services
Location: La Plata, CO

Member Bio

Alora Lind was born and raised in Southwest Colorado and has recently finished her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Gender & Sexuality Studies. This is her first year serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA located at La Plata Youth Services in Durango, Colorado. Aside from work, Alora enjoys dancing, ice skating, skiing, and backpacking. Although her service just began, she’s excited to help create a better community for the youth in La Plata County.

Rachel Kandzierski

Title: Communications Associate VISTA
Host Site: Grand Futures Prevention Coalition
Location: Steamboat Springs, CO

Member Bio

Rachel is a recent college graduate with a B.S. in Public Health, but her interests lie anywhere from animals to Sci-Fi. Born and Raised in Dunwoody, Georgia, Rachel is excited to have moved out west and to encounter new perspectives from the people that she will meet in Steamboat Springs. Rachel spends her free time reading, hiking, cooking, or playing with her two cats, Callie and Bucky. She joined AmeriCorps VISTA to help her decide on career goals for the future and to give back to under-represented communities.

For more information, please contact:

Megan Carter, AmeriCorps Program Coordinator
303.623.1540 X146 or email hidden; JavaScript is required