Joanne Bates served in Idaho Falls, Idaho in 1997

Alumni story
Joanne Bates 1997 Idaho Falls

I began my VISTA service in August 1997 for Eastern Idaho Technical College. The project was to establish a family literacy program at the Haven Temporary Shelter in Idaho Falls, Idaho. After two years as a VISTA, the Haven's parent organization, Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership (formerly Eastern Idaho Special Services Agency), hired me to continue at the Haven in a part-time position. 

Over the years, the emphasis has changed a bit. I'm not able to spend so much time with the children because we are helping so many adults prepare to take their GED tests. When the building that is under construction is finished, we will have a classroom there for adults and the former classroom for other activities. 
I love my job and often am rewarded with success in our clients. The AmeriCorps/VISTA trainings were great opportunities to learn how to recruit volunteers, how the organization runs, and how to do a good job. It was good to connect with other VISTAs.

Decade: 1990s