I checked in with Coral Thede (pronounced TAY-DEE) to see how things are going down in Gillette, WY. She is serving with the Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming. Coral is finishing her service in January and we are excited to see what great things she will do next!
Get To Know Your VISTA
Who: Coral (like the reef)
Where: Gillette, Wyoming
Age: 310 months
Originally From: Is this Heaven? ..........No, it’s I O W A!
College: University of Northern Iowa Major: Communication Studies Minor: Spanish
Hobbies: Playing my guitar, bonfires, road trips, snail mail, blogging, Netflix.
Fun Fact(s): New Year’s Baby, natural ginger, once cut my hand ice skating (turns out I’m no Tara Lipinski)
Favorite Quote: “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Why did you join AmeriCorps? A family friend suggested I look into it. I wanted to try something new and give back in some way, so becoming a VISTA seemed like a good idea. I think the empowerment of young women is especially important as well, so I was eager to serve alongside an organization like the Girl Scouts.
What has being an AmeriCorps VISTA taught you? My year of service came with a lot of ups and downs. It taught me to be more humble and grateful and gave me a better look into the modern day struggles everyday Americans are facing. It’s definitely been a year of growth and strength; including a lot of learning experiences. While this has probably been one of the toughest years for me, I can honestly say I’ve never given back more.
VISTA Service Accomplishments: With it being a huge rebuilding year, basically from the ground up for our Girl Scouts office, I focused mainly on service projects, revamping programs and creating partnerships. Our main partnership is between the Boys and Girls Club and the local Gillette Community College. We had the Boys and Girls Club troop lined up and with my MTCC focus on College Positive Volunteers, I reached out to the college and luckily their Executive Student Senate decided to lead the troop. We had a very successful first semester and look forward to continuing this partnership!
In addition; we put on a camp that had been non-existent for two years and made it Reduce, Reuse, Recycle themed, received a grant for $2,000 from the Indian Education Committee to start a troop at the school on the reservation in Lame Deer, Montana, received another grant from the United Way for $5,000 for the girls at the Boys and Girls Club, participated in numerous community service projects including planting a garden in front of the Community Art Center and sending care packages to my Adopt-A-Soldier overseas, and had the most registered Girl Scouts in the whole state!
Post VISTA Life: After I complete my VISTA service, I fully plan on being rich and famous. Until then though, I will go back home to Iowa, find a full time job of sorts, pay off those student loans (eventually) and begin building my very own tiny house on wheels!