The AmeriCorp VISTA is a prestigious federal program designed to alleviate poverty in the US and has a long standing partnership with FIRST to build capacity in communities to expand FIRST programming. NYC FIRST is pleased to welcome Lianza Y. as our VISTA corp member for the upcoming year - and we'd love for you to get to know her:
Why did want to serve as a VISTA?
Coming back from having my Peace Corps service cut short due to COVID-19, I still felt a strong desire to continue my service through AmeriCorps. NYC FIRST’s mission to provide STEM Education to the youth and VISTA’s mission to alleviate poverty, both perfectly aligned with my ideals. It is exciting to be part of a team that cares about making a difference!
Why is STEM education important to you?
STEM education encourages critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration; all skills needed to tackle our future. Personally, my background and passion in science has taken me to so many amazing places and has given me a rich perspective of life.
What is the best advice you've received?
Something that my parents have always told me growing up is to work hard and stay humble. This piece of advice has been relevant in many aspects of my life. No matter where you are, all you can really do is try your best even when it can sometimes fall short.
What advice/words of wisdom do you have for current FIRST participants (high school students)?
Two pieces of advice I would say to current FIRST participants:
1. Explore new things even (especially) if it scares you. Whether it is an idea you have with your robot, or thinking about what you want pursue after high school.
2. Use your peers and teachers/mentors around you. People are much more willing to help you than you think. They carry a wealth of knowledge you may not discover until you ask.
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