VISTA Spotlight: Introducing Maria!

17 Apr

For the next few months, we will be introducing the PCRG community to our latest AmeriCorps VISTAs. Get to know our cohort as each member will be featured on our blog and in our newsletter!

 

Volunteer Coordinator VISTA: Maria Mongelluzzo

Maria

Placement:

Millvale Community Library

 

Tell us a little about yourself

I grew up in Pittsburgh’s Little Italy neighborhood, Bloomfield, surrounded by friends and family, and, of course, delicious food. I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh last spring where I studied Environmental Studies, Anthropology, and Public and Professional Writing. I love the outdoors and enjoy hiking, biking, and any water activity. I also love to travel and hope to continue exploring the many diverse countries and cultures around the world.

 

Why did you decide to serve with AmeriCorps VISTA?

I was introduced to the VISTA program while completing an internship at my current site. Knowing I wanted to take a break after graduation to explore my passions and interests, I felt the VISTA program was a perfect fit. Through my previous work at the Millvale Community Library, I fell in love with the organization and the community and the VISTA program offered me the opportunity to continue working with them to increase their impact in the community.

 

What goals do you have for your service term?

During my service term, I hope to help my organization continue to develop effective programs. Another goal I have is to gain valuable experience and knowledge about working for a nonprofit organization to prepare for my future.

 

What projects are you currently working on with VISTA?

One project I am very excited to be working on at my site is the creation of a Tool Lending Library. The Tool Lending Library will allow library cardholders to check out tools for home repair and DIY projects. It supports Millvale’s larger sustainability efforts by encouraging people to borrow tools rather than buying expensive tools or tools they may only use once. The Tool Lending Library will also include a dedicated collection of bicycle-specific tools. Through my work on this project, I have connected with many interesting organizations and individuals around Pittsburgh.

 

What are your plans after VISTA?

At the completion of my VISTA service, I plan to go to grad school to pursue a Master of Public Administration or International Development, with a focus in International Education. I am also interested in becoming a teacher and currently exploring certificate programs in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.