top of page

Olivia's Final Blog

I’ve been with Detroit College Access Network for a full year now. In a lot of ways, it feels like I’ve been here forever; it’s hard to imagine a time when I wasn’t one of DCAN’s VISTAs. On the other hand, I still get the feeling that there’s so much more I need to learn and experience with DCAN before I can claim competence in education or nonprofits.

I’ve learned so much from DCAN. I know how to pull data and how to organize it to be both efficient and presentable, and how to compile aggregate and disaggregated data (and I know what those words mean!). I feel comfortable drafting social media copy and creating amateur graphics. I can explain the intricacies of the FAFSA and can assist students and families with completing it. I’m comfortable reaching out to and meeting with new partners to discuss DCAN’s mission and how we can align to best serve students. I’m familiar with the inner workings of Detroit high schools and recognize where there are deficits and successes in college access for Detroit seniors. I’ve compiled resources, created new systems, hosted a pilot event, been an adviser for seniors, and rallied vendors and speakers.

I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to be a jack of all trades in my role. In working with such a small but driven team, it’s easy to fall into various projects and initiatives — some I led, many I supported. DCAN doesn’t designate specific titles for their two VISTAs, and it isn’t hard to see why; I could hardly encompass all I do with DCAN in a single title. Although I’ve had 12 months of observing and executing, there is still so much to learn! I’m grateful to DCAN for allowing me the autonomy and trust to develop new programs and initiatives so that I could grow and gain experience. My service year has strengthened my confidence in my professional abilities, and I'm excited to build on the skills I’ve gained at Detroit College Access Network. I know that my career will never stray far from education and educational equity, and I can thank DCAN for solidifying my passion for the work.

I wish DCAN and their network all the best as they continue to fight for equal access to postsecondary education!

171 views47 comments

Recent Posts

See All