Logo for: Horizons National

AmeriCorps VISTA Reflections

Posted on

For the past year, Horizons National has had the pleasure of hosting Adriana Garcia, a recent graduate of the University of Tampa, as our Marketing and Communications AmeriCorps VISTA. Now, as her service year draws to a close, Adriana reflects on her experiences with Horizons and what she will take with her to her next role.

Since 2017, Horizons National (HN) has partnered with AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) to place VISTA members with HN and Horizons sites across the Network. VISTA members dedicate a year of service to Horizons and provide essential capacity-building support, helping with initiatives in fundraising, volunteer recruitment & management, marketing, student enrollment, and more.

Adriana joined the HN Marketing and Communications team in June of 2022 with the charge of helping expand our storytelling efforts and creative asset collection. Throughout her service year, Adriana managed essential projects like the creation of Horizons' new tagline, stakeholder interviews, and implementing new techniques to gather stories. As the end of her service year approaches, we sat down with Adriana to learn more about her VISTA experience.

What made you choose AmeriCorps VISTA, and what made you choose Horizons?

After graduating from my university, I knew I wanted to dive deeper into the nonprofit sector while serving a cause I was passionate about. While I was never in a Horizons program, I was in a program like it in Florida, so I found myself with an initial understanding of what Horizons aims to accomplish. The listing for the Marketing/Communications role seemed like a great way for me to explore my professional interests and utilize my strengths while still challenging me to grow as a young professional.

What has been the most memorable part of your service year?

There have been so many great memories in this role like seeing the First Lady during a site visit, leading the efforts toward developing the new tagline, and helping our fundraising efforts. However, the people have been the most memorable part of my service. Meeting other VISTA members, the Marketing and Communications team, and of course the incredible students at the site. I have met so many vibrant people who have shared impactful stories with me about their involvement with the organization. These are the people that bring Horizons to life!

How has this experience shaped you, professionally and personally?

In a literal sense, this experience has helped me develop stronger writing skills, better time management, and strategic planning. This role has helped me in so many more ways than just professionally. I have learned work-life balance, self-reliance, and this experience has given me confidence to try new things and take risks. This past year people have lovingly compared my role to a scientist because my days have been usually spent researching, brainstorming, and testing ideas. That ability to experiment without fear has been one of the greatest lessons I take with me.

What will you take from this experience to future jobs and opportunities?

My year with Horizons and AmeriCorps has opened my eyes to so many new pathways in my career and in how I can support causes I am passionate about. It has given me a new drive in what I do and the work I put into the world. I am beyond grateful to have had this experience!


Thank you for your service, Adriana! We will miss you!


Back to Blog