Hope your week is going well. For a lot of you, your first living allowance payment was made last week, and therefore, if you are running into problems with your living allowance payment schedule or direct deposit procedure, please feel free to call me or VISTA Member Support Unit (866.473.5733) with your questions and concerns.


Also I want to take this time to clarify a few details about the NeighborWorks America National Harbor (Washington, DC), Training Institute (NTI). The registration deadline is October 13th and it is not mandatory but strongly recommended for all the VISTAs. We are developing a full, rich program for you on Wednesday, December 8th 2010.  You will get to know your VISTA colleagues, the NeighborWorks America Content Matter Experts, and learn about innovative strategies used within the field of community development. There will be a free luncheon for those that attend! If there is a conflict with your class schedule, feel free to give me a call so that we can explore your possible options. Unless you let me know that you are not coming, we will expect you there!  Please note that there isn’t a specific code for this VISTA Training Day when you register for the NTI. 


Now for a list of things to do:


1)     If you are planning on not joining us at the December NTI, please let me know. I need a head count for seating and lunch arrangements, so if you could just reply back to this email saying “NOT joining for December NTI”, I would really appreciate it.  Thanks!


2)     Seven Corners Health Benefits Plan: FAQ and Physician Finder Link


I have attached a copy of Seven Corner’s FAQ file and here’s a link to the list of Seven Corners’ physicians. I recommend reading through the FAQ file and updating your phonebook with your local area Seven Corner physician. Please do it soon, so that you can save yourself a lot of time and pain in case of an emergency.  The general AmeriCorps Seven Corners website.


3)     Individual Professional Development Plan


Now that you are finally getting accustomed to your host site and are learning about your new VISTA project, I have attached an individual professional development plan for you. The plan helps you prioritize short and long terms goals and identify areas of strength and areas where you can build upon. A lot of VISTAs have found this to be useful and so I hope you use it and then fill out this survey. This is the same survey as last week, so if you have already filled one out, thank you.


4)     VISTA Campus offers Social Media Monday: Virtual workshops... real social change.

Since a lot of VISTAs are interested in incorporating social media for outreach and communication, I thought you might find these series of webshops resourceful. These webshops provide an with hands-on access to social media applications to learn how to strategically use these tools to create social change. They are hosted by technology experts, along with a variety of guests with on-the-ground experience, to give you a specific set of skills each month to assist you in your VISTA role and social change efforts. Link to the webshop.

Upcoming Session – Social Media Success: Thinking ahead and keeping it going. September 27th @ 3pm EST.

Once again thank you in advance for filling out the survey and replying me back in case you are not going to be present at the Washington, DC NTI. Feel free to call or email me if you have questions, comments or suggestions.



Swati Karandikar


NeighborWorks America VISTA Leader

Office Phone Number: 202.220.7074

Cell Phone Number: 630.570.1124


 Please come join us on www.LeadersforCommunities.org, the professional networking site for leaders and emerging leaders in the community development field!