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Starts Right Here VISTA Coordinator

Volunteer Iowa
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The VISTA Coordinator with the Starts Right Here organization will develop policies and procedures to support the infrastructure of the organization so that safe place for at-risk youth to receive support. The VISTA Coordinator will develop programming such as tutoring, mentoring, financial literacy, employment skill-based training, and other social programming to support at-risk youth. Additionally, the VISTA project will focus on developing infrastructure for volunteer management, and fundraising and grants management.

Service Activities

The Starts Right Here VISTA Coordinator will develop programming for at-risk youth.

The coordinator will establish a volunteer management infrastructure to assist with service delivery.

The coordinator will also strengthen the organization's infrastructure by reviewing and developing policies and procedures in collaboration with the board of directors.

Community Need Addressed

Regionally in the Des Moines area we are faced with several concerns- Single Parent Families, The Breakdown of the Family Unit, Mental Health Issues / Trauma, Lack of Financial / Entrepreneurial Opportunities, Challenges in Educational Math & Reading Proficiency, Healthy Role Modeled Relationships, Growing Teen Violence/ Juvenile Delinquent Behaviors, and Generational and Cyclical Dysfunctional Patterns in Families. With community concerns such as these, there comes a leadership standard raised up to tackle these dilemmas with other community stakeholders. That movement we believe is STARTS RIGHT HERE.

High School dropout rates are significantly higher for youth who are of low socioeconomic status- African American, Hispanic, or Multi-racial. These youth are at risk of homelessness, violence to themselves or others, and without education likely unsuccessful with maintaining employment. At-risk youth in Polk County often choose "the streets" due to lack of resources and support such as family or other positive role models. According to a study from the Polk County Juvenile Justice System, the African-American youth arrest rate is 6.2 times higher than that of white youth. This creates even stronger barriers for at-risk youth to be successful.

Start’s Right Here mission is to encourage and educate young people living in disadvantaged and oppressive circumstances using the arts, entertainment, hip hop, music, programs, and a variety of other methods with the objective of breaking down the barriers of fear, intimidation and other damaging factors leading to a sense of being disenfranchised, forgotten, and rejected.

Position Outcomes

The VISTA Coordinator with Starts Right Here will develop and build a volunteer base, will develop policies and procedures, and will create sustainable programming for at-risk youth. These activities will be measurable in the number of youth served, number of volunteers actively serving, and more.


Childcare assistance if eligible, Education award upon successful completion of service, Health coverage, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Relocation allowance (if applicable), Stipend, Training

Competencies You Will Develop

Demonstrate sensitivity and empathy, Lead group discussion, Listen to and consider others' viewpoints, Maintain open lines of communication with others, Speak clearly, in precise language and in a logical, organized and coherent manner, Turn taking, Write cleary and effectively
Creativity & Problem Solving
Able to identify and define the problem, Capable of generating possible solutions, Communicate the problem to appropriate personnel, Improvise, Provide relevant expertise, Select and implement well-considered solution
Derive consensus, Develop constructive working relationships and maintain them over time, Establish a high degree of trust and credibility with others, Interact professionally and respectfully with supervisors and co-workers, Stay positive and outcome oriented, Use appropriate strategies and solutions for dealing with conflicts and differences to maintain a smooth workflow
Accepts responsibility, Anticipate the consequences of decisions, Identify and prioritize the key issues involved to facilitate the decision making process, Involve people appropriately in decisions that may impact them, Quickly respond with a back-up plan if a decision goes amiss
Carefully consider which tools or technological solutions are appropriate for a given job, Consistently choose the best tool or technological solution for the problem at hand, Operate tools and equipment in accordance with established operating procedures, safety standards, and ethical guidelines, Seek opportunities to improve knowledge of tools and technologies that may assist in streamlining work and improving productivity
Able to prioritize various competing tasks, Create environment of contribution, Create plan of action, schedule tasks so that work is completed on time, Demonstrate the effective allocation of time and resources efficiently, Drive decision making, Effectively delegate tasks, Facilitate group planning, Set goals
Be pleasant, courteous, professional and respectful when dealing with internal and external customers or clients, Evaluate customer or client satisfaction, Honor the privilege of being able to work with and for those being served, Provide personalized, prompt, and efficient service to meet the requirements, requests and needs of customers, Recognize the importance of maintaining privacy and confidentiality of those being served, Understand and anticipate the needs of others, Understand the importance of one's role in the functioning of the organization, Understand the significance of maintaining a healthful and safe environment
  • Activity Types Office Activities, Professional Activities
  • Focus Areas Community & Nonprofit Development, Education & Youth
  • Length of Service 12 Months
  • Education Requirements College Graduate
  • Placement Individual Placement
  • Service Setting Community-based Nonprofit, Community Development Organization, Recreation or Youth Center
  • Weekly Training Hours 2

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