Founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965, President John F. Kennedy originated the idea of VISTA. VISTA is a branch of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) designed specifically to eliminate poverty through a commitment of service to communities in need. CNCS is an independent federal agency whose mission is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. For more than five decades, AmeriCorps*VISTA members have promoted indigenous wellness and culture through dedicated service in tribal communities.
Laguna Community Foundation serves as a sponsoring organization with CNCS to place VISTA members with various tribal programs and local nonprofits focused on capacity building in Native communities. Through LCF, VISTA members work to advance economic development opportunities, strengthen community resources where possible, spotlight local leadership building, and create access to workforce development opportunities.
We have LCF staff ready to help you with the application process right here in the Pueblo of Laguna at our Laguna Community Foundation Office. You can reach us to set up a time to work on your application or just to find out more about AmeriCorps Tribal VISTA in two ways:
a) by visiting http://www.lagunacommunityfoundation.org/contact/
b) or by calling our office at (505) 331-7339
If you have questions about the VISTA Program, start by visiting our FAQ page to learn more about the various aspects of the program, including salary, job requirements, and more. Visit the FAQ Page HERE.
Tribal VISTA Success Stories
Engaging community members in AmeriCorps VISTA Tribal service has provided a platform for emerging leaders in the community.
Val Fernando, working as a VISTA member at the Laguna Public Library, came to her position with the important knowledge of Laguna social customs and norms. Combining this knowledge with newly developed archiving skills, Val contributed to the growth of the Library, which includes talking with elders and community members about the value of recording and archiving oral histories. This VISTA experience, through the support of a dedicated partner like the Laguna Public Library, has encouraged Val to look into archiving as a field of study.
On March 6, 2017, Patrick Keyope completed a year of service to the Laguna Community Foundation. Through his service, Patrick learned about community-driven philanthropy and the important role that community partnerships play in leveraging new resourc
es to support local work. Patrick’s involvement in meetings and discussions with community elders, youth leaders, health and wellness workers, tribal leaders, and education experts from across New Mexico helped him solidify his college and career goals. Patrick’s interest in education and youth counseling was informed by what he learned through his service to the Laguna Community Foundation, and from the mentorship he received.. Before returning to his college path, Patrick is providing direct support to the Laguna Foundation as it goes through a leadership transition. Young leaders of the caliber of Patrick Keyope provide an example to the rest of us of what service and commitment to community should look like.
“We come from a place of abundance not deficit and when I say abundance I am not talking about a wallet, but good minds, good hearts, good spirits, good people – that’s the abundance we have…” – Former Governor Richard Luarkie, Pueblo of Laguna
“Tribal VISTA is a great life experience for yourself and for your Pueblo community.”- Gilbert Sanchez, Laguna Community Founding Director