Views from our VISTAs
Meet Schuyler Pruis
MCAN Data & Technology VISTA
As my year of AmeriCorps service with MCAN begins, I’m filled with a sense of excitement — as well trepidation — at the work ahead. My name is Schuyler Pruis, and I am a new AmeriCorps VISTA member who will be serving with MCAN over the next year, focusing on data and technology. What originally drew me to this opportunity was both a sense of service to my community and state, as well as a desire to make a difference in the lives of people who I don’t know and might not ever meet. I didn’t want this next year of my life to go by without making an impact on something bigger than myself, which is what drew me to the AmeriCorps VISTA program.
On top of that, I was drawn to MCAN because of my background in education. I attended Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I studied secondary education. I got to see firsthand some of the challenges that our educators and administrators face when it comes to encouraging and paving the way for students to pursue a postsecondary education. I want to use this year with MCAN to help others to make that impact and to help students to clear the hurdles that stand in the way of their educational goals.
But most of all, what brought me to MCAN is the goal that lies ahead. Sixty by 30 is a major challenge that is going to demand a lot of effort and work from many different people and organizations. It will demand sacrifice and funding, as well as support from MCAN, administrators, educators, legislators, and everyone in between. And it’s not something that is going to happen overnight. It is going to demand continued effort out of everyone for the next decade and beyond. I admire the effort to help more people further their education, and I recognize it’s a necessity for the future, which is why I want to help in any way that I can. I’m honored by this opportunity to help MCAN achieve their goals, and I’m excited for what it will teach me in both my personal and professional life. It’s a huge mountain to climb, but it is a climb that I am excited to be a part of.
Meet Delesiya Davis
MCAN Outreach & Engagement VISTA
As a second year Americops VISTA, I have some knowledge of what to expect from a VISTA year. But MCAN is a new site for me, and I am anxious to find out what this site will teach me and how it will help me grow both professionally and personally. My name is Delesiya Davis, and I chose to do a second year as a VISTA because I loved the work and impact I had in my first year. I specifically chose to do my second year with MCAN because of the work they do and the mission that they have chosen. As a Michigan high school graduate, specifically from the Lansing School District, I understand the need for the resources that MCAN provides to high schools and Michigan communities.
I’ve always felt a need to give back to the community that I came from, and as I started to apply for my second VISTA year, I realized that I wanted to help high school students in some capacity. I reflected on what it was like for me when I was applying for schools my senior year, how lost I felt and how unaware I was of the opportunities that were available to me. Seeing how MCAN creates student resources and seeing their mission to increase the number of students who pursue postsecondary degrees and/or certificates, I knew that my values aligned with their mission.
Throughout this year, I hope to help MCAN get closer to their goals, especially the goal of Sixty by 30. I understand how important it is to have more than just a high school diploma, especially in today’s world. For me, education opened doors, and I believe it can do the same for others. I also realize that not everyone wants a traditional college experience, which is why I love the fact that MCAN includes certificates from different trades as part of their definition of postsecondary education. I see my partnership with MCAN during this year being very beneficial to both myself and MCAN, especially because their organizational goals are so similar to my personal and professional goals.