When last we left our heroes….2019 MGS alumni, Corbet McKinney, and Sarah Woll were off to Jamaica with the Peace Corps. Then we had a pandemic.
Once their return to the Peace Corps got pushed back to Summer 2021 at the earliest, Corbett and Sarah made the decision to apply to AmeriCorps VISTA instead. They’ve been working through VISTA in Kansas City since October.
VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) was implemented at around the same time as Peace Corps and has a lot of the same philosophy behind it. For a long time it was its own freestanding organization, but eventually it got brought under the same umbrella as other AmeriCorps programs.
However, it retained some unique traits: VISTA focuses exclusively on capacity building, rather than providing direct services, and has some special benefits, like granting non-competitive eligibility status for federal jobs. Corbett is working with the Language Services & Cultural Equity Department at Kansas City Public Schools.
Sarah’s organization is Global FC. They use soccer/futbol as an outreach tool for refugee and immigrant youth coming to Kansas City, and provide not only the chance to play on a team, but also education support services, resources for families, and other forms of community outreach. Sarah is focused on developing the education portion, which is great as she’s finishing up her Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.
We’re both really enjoying the opportunity to do work similar to what we were hoping to do with Peace Corps; it’s different, but we like to say that it’s the best pivot we could have made!