Spring Programming is well underway and has already been so successful so far, thanks to our HOPES staff, AmeriCorps members, and community volunteers! Over a month ago, Chicago HOPES for Kids welcomed two new AmeriCorps VISTAS, both of whom were excited to join the HOPES team! Read on to learn more about our new VISTAS...
Colin Wilkinson, Development Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA
Colin is from Ridgewood, NJ and is one of our newest AmeriCorps VISTAs, serving as the 2023 Development Coordinator. Colin decided to join Chicago HOPES for Kids because he was interested in getting out in the world and helping an area of society that is often overlooked and underserved. Colin is most excited about working with our organization because of how happy our programming makes our students; he says being able to see the kids smile at the end of each day is what “makes this job worth it!” To Colin, being a volunteer means being someone who is willing to do things others won’t and not seeking for monetary gains. In his free time, Colin enjoys going to concerts and live music events, whenever and wherever he can! We are so excited to have Colin on our team!
Desiree Diaz-Mendoza, Family Engagement & Outreach Coordinator
Desiree is from Chicago and is another one of our newest AmeriCorps VISTAs, serving as the 2023 Family Engagement & Outreach Coordinator. Desiree decided to join Chicago HOPES for Kids due to past experiences working for other nonprofit organizations. HOPES piqued her interest because of how HOPES operates; she admires the organization’s dedication to serving underprivileged students and their families. Desiree is most excited about the opportunity to spread awareness about HOPES and increase our reach to families across Chicago by recruiting (and retaining) passionate volunteers as well as assisting with workshop facilitation for the Parent Partners program that equips our parents with the knowledge and skills they need to support their children, both emotionally and academically. To Desiree, being a volunteer means the work she does is going toward the “bigger picture.” In her free time, Desiree enjoys watching cooking competition shows, including Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen, and Iron Chef America. We are thrilled to have Desiree on our team!