One of the best professional experiences of my career!

Alumni story
Patrick Tschida 2019 2020 Minneapolis

After having served as a US Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania in the 1980's, I'd always wanted to also do Americorps/VISTA.

This opportunity came up to serve as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) - Minnesota Chapter. I began in July, 2019, a few weeks earlier than my official orientation and swearing-in. I was anxious to get working, since my 97-year-old mom had just passed away a month earlier on June 5th. I was grieving deeply but knew that she would have wanted me to pack all that I can into my life. So, sitting around wallowing in my grieve was not going to happen.

I was interviewed and hired by development director (PW). The executive director, (JH), is an extremely charismatic leader. He was always on the go, meeting after meeting. I was able to attend on of his trainings  on "Muslims in the Workplace" at the headquarters of a large financial institution based in Minneapolis. There were about 40 people in the conference/training center, and about another 40 on remote screen (South Africa and the UK). 

The year had a lot of ups and downs, including several Somali owned businesses being vandalized, Rep. Ilhan Omar & Rep. Rashida Thlaib presenting to donors in the church basement, and the protest during the Oct. 2019 visit/rally downtown by the current sitting president....

Decade: 2020s