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 AmeriCorps Program Coordinator, Megan Carter at email hidden; JavaScript is required or 303-623-1540 x 146

Learn about our current VISTA Members!

Liza Cooney

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

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.

Halle Leganza

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

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

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

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

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.

Melinda McFarland

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

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

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.

Katherine Valicenti

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

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

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.

Mara Gwin

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Marissa Sanchez

Title: Social Media and Marketing Associate VISTA
Host Site: Community Resource Center
Location: Denver, CO

Laura Baker

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

Laura grew up in Southern California. She was raised biculturally in the suburbs between Los Angeles and San Diego. Her mother is the second youngest in a family of migrant farm workers. Originally from Baja California, her mamá spent her youth up and down the state following the seasonal harvests. Laura’s father, the oldest of his kin, travelled ‘Out West’ in the early 1960’s, leaving behind the small, family farm in Kentucky. These humble origins are Laura’s roots, and have spurred her interest in advocating for agricultural and minority communities.

Helping others was modeled to Laura throughout her upbringing. She has volunteered domestically with emergency response providers including the American Red Cross, the Trauma Intervention Program, and as a victim advocate for those affected by domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual assault. She has travelled abroad to support community building initiatives and to participate in conflict analysis and resolution programming. These experiences, in addition to her formal education in Psychology and Cultural Studies, have helped cultivate the unique skill set that Laura brings to the Hispanic Affairs Project. In this role, Laura endeavors to understand new perspectives, fortify partnerships, and contribute to the neighborly spirit of Montrose.

Molly Mello

Title: Youth Engagement Coordinator
Host Site: Mesa County Public Health
Location: Grand Junction, CO

Molly serves as the Youth Engagement Coordinator for Mesa County Public Health. She is from Silt, CO and attended Arizona State University for two years and then transferred to Colorado State University, where she graduated in May of 2019. Molly has a degree is in Microbiology with a minor in Environmental Health. She has previously worked as a food science R&D lab and then worked in mosquito surveillance in Larimer County. In her free time, Molly enjoys snowboarding and hiking, especially with her dog, Frank.

Tiera Guerena

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

Barbara Kapustin 

Title: Program Assistant AmeriCorps VISTA

Host Site: Eureka! McConnell Science Museum
Location: Grand Junction, CO

Coming from New York, Barbara joined the Eureka! team in August of 2020 as part of her AmeriCorps service. She graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science with a minor in Philosophy. While studying at F&M, Barbara had written two theses and performed behavioral ecology research. After graduating she worked in New York City as a data analyst, and then in Long Island, NY as an assistant farm manager. She is happiest outside, discussing abstract concepts and interacting with wildlife. A driving force behind Barbara’s decision to join Americorp Vista and Eureka! was her desires to give to the community. After having wonderful experiences as a researcher and scientists, Barbara began to understand the value of accessible education and the difference that it can make in the lives of others. Barbara comes to Eureka! with excitement to make science and science education more accessible, as well as a hope to inspire the next generation of scientists

For more information, please contact:

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