AmeriCorps VISTA: Sarah A. Aly
AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) members are placed at the National Network for Arab American Communities' (NNAAC) member organizations to develop new programs, recruit volunteers and seek program funding.
Get to know Sarah A. Aly, one of our 2016-17 AmeriCorps VISTA members, in our interview with her below!
Sarah A. Aly
Network of Arab-American Professionals (NAAP) | Brooklyn, New York
Q: Why did you join the VISTA program?
A: I was actually looking for work that would serve and help build my community before even knowing VISTA existed. I found out that NAAP, which I knew about in my undergraduate days, and who recently awarded me the Student Activism Award, was hiring for a Mentorship Coordinator position, and VISTA just came along with it because the position fit perfectly into what I envisioned myself doing fresh out of undergrad.
Q: What personal or professional goals do you want to achieve during this program?
A: I'd like to create and launch a mentorship program that is sustainable, meets the needs of Arab American youth, and fills the informational gap we have in New York as a largely new immigrant community. I am hoping this will benefit my friends, siblings, and peers, who I see struggling now to weave through the American higher education system and working world, and provide them with a solid network and guidance.
Q: How does this program fit into your future plans?
A: I plan on pursuing a PhD and working as a professor of Middle East studies and Gender studies in the future. This position does not necessarily advance this goal, but it does fit in with my personal goal of bringing my community together and fostering a relationship between us that is less individualistic and more about strengthening ourselves as a whole. A mentorship program based off of a strong network within our own community can help us achieve that.
Q: Describe yourself in three words.
A: Student, Passionate, North-African.
At each host organization, VISTA members will either develop a new program, or build the reach and scope of an already existing program. VISTA members will be involved in grant writing and fundraising for employment programs, and will recruit a corps of volunteers to continue with the program beyond the VISTA cycle. Click here to learn more.