VISTA Leader “Looks on the Brightside” in VISTA Member Development

Look on the Brightside WorkshopAn AmeriCorps VISTA can never be “too optimistic”. By nature, VISTAs are creative, innovative, and resourceful. Regardless, the North Texas VISTAs discovered the limits of their optimism on May 29, 2015. Sarah Lehman, AmeriCorps VISTA Leader of the North Texas Project, created the Look on the Bright Side workshop that successfully challenged this national service proverb. While there are always conflicts that arise during a year of service, VISTAs are meant to overcome these struggles and develop sustainable solutions for their service sites. Be that as it may, overcoming a conflict can prove difficult for some VISTAs. Throughout the workshop, the North Texas VISTAs were given common VISTA service conflicts and tasked to ignore all negatives and create lists of positive possibilities. Questions like “What if a VISTA was new to their service site’s community?” and “What if a VISTA had minimal supervision?” created numerous positive possibilities. Everyone in attendance agreed that the workshop challenged their perspective. Whenever their optimism begins to waver under the negative cloud of a conflict, the North Texas VISTAs can now view these positive perspectives and remember to look on the bright side.

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