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Get to know the Alliance staff, Robin Hanson, Program Director – AmeriCorps VISTA

Every two weeks join us to learn about the Alliance staff!

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Why I do what I do
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I was raised with a service mindset.  I grew up on a Reservation and in 1965 two VISTA members lived with us for a year.  I love that my life will be book-ended by my exposure to National Service.  Over my career I have volunteered from reading to serving meals to teaching financial literacy, I’ve been on Boards, and spent over 15 years coordinating volunteers for a Fortune 500 company.  I have seen the benefits of volunteering on both the organization and the volunteer, and the feeling that comes from doing the right thing for no reason at all.  I may not be a great gardener or painter – but I am an excellent cheerleader and snack delivery person at volunteer projects.  In my current and last working role, I get the very best of both worlds.  I am helping Rural organizations build their capacity to deliver services in their community with (mostly) recent college graduates who believe a year of service is a “Grand Adventure”.   I am constantly amazed in the candidates we get to relocate to the far corners of Arizona for $4.58 an hour just for the experiences they will reflect on their resume. 

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Important things in my work
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One of the value adds to the VISTA program is our availability to provide professional development for our members.  We cannot expect our host sites to invest in the VISTA development, when their own staff may not have the opportunity; so we take that on.  We have some amazing trainings for our VISTA members in the first quarter of 2021 – they will be trained to be facilitators for Arizona Town Hall convenings, learn how to be better communicators, and critically important, how to receive feedback.  This is in addition to any of the recorded trainings the members want to take.  We want them to be the most sought after new hires for an organization when they finish their term of service.

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In my spare time
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I love to read and cook.  The joy in fixing a meal to enjoy with my spouse is a perfect way to end the day.  The feeling of accomplishment when the last dish is loaded in the dishwasher after dinner is my cue to relax.

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I am currently
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police procedural mysteries… It’s not just who done it – it’s what mistakes did they make to get caught?  A small child once told me – I don’t want to be the murderer – I want to be the one who catches them.  I don’t usually figure out the who done it – but love the mystery
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Death in Paradise from the BBC while waiting for Midsummer Murder to be available on Britbox
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French Cooking Music on Pandora