AmeriCorps Member Spotlight: Sydney Gillis


Sydney Gillis is currently an AmeriCorps VISTA member serving at Citizen Schools Headquarters as the 8GA and Alumni Services Coordinator VISTA in Boston, Massachusetts.

1. Why did you decide to become an AmeriCorps VISTA?

I ended up looking into AmeriCorps programs after hearing some friends talk about their experiences with AmeriCorps. After doing some research about AmeriCorps and its different programs, a year of service as a VISTA seemed like the best fit for me.

2. What has been one of the most transformative moments of your service?

My year of service is still at its beginning. However, I have really loved seeing how hard the AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows and the rest of the Citizen Schools staff works to benefit the students. Seeing the time and effort that they put in to make a difference motivates me to do the same in both my work life and personal life.

3. How has service changed you and your perspective of the world?

I'm not sure if my perspective has changed, but I definitely spend more time thinking of ways we can logistically combat some of the social inequities we see in order make improvements for this generation that we are working with. Being an AmeriCorps VISTA and seeing how many people are working toward the same goals gives me hope that we are in the process of making changes that will lead to a more diverse and equitable future for the students we are working with.

4. If you could summarize your year of service in one word, which one would it be? Why?

Exciting. As challenging and frustrating as some days can be, it's exciting to know that the goal of being an AmeriCorps VISTA is to build capacity to continue working toward creating change for the future.