Name: Megan Ottati
Host Site: Salve Regina University/Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center
Where did you go to school? State University of New York at Oneonta
What are your personal and professional interests?
I am interested in Social Work and the role a social worker has in higher education settings. I have a passion for working with young adults and believe in working to help address the academic challenges, adjustment issues, behavioral issues, and social issues students may face in higher education and adjusting to young adulthood.
I want to work on expanding my knowledge of the social work field. After I complete my VISTA year, I plan to attend Boston College for my MSW. I believe education is vital and it is a never-ending process. I hope to eventually pursue a PHD.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
I think I would want to be able to teleport …. would save time getting places!
Tell us your Story of Service (300 – 500 words) why you choose to serve? How do you think you are impacting poverty?
Before graduating from the State University of New York at Oneonta, I was unsure of what I wanted to do after graduation until I heard about AmeriCorps. I knew a former teammate who took a position in Chicago the year before me and she spoke highly of the program. I was excited to have an opportunity to volunteer, gain new skills and experience a new environment before I would decide on graduate school. After doing some research, I decided to apply to my position here in Newport, Rhode Island at Salve Regina University and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center in outreach and marketing.
I chose to serve because I have a love for helping others and have always seen myself in a field of work where I could have an impact in the community. I believe everyone can be successful with guidance and support. Throughout my time as a VISTA, those who I have served have also impacted me as a person. I never imagined the impact the students at Salve Regina would have on me, but seeing their dedication to service has been so heartwarming and inspiring. I have seen the growth in leadership skills in the freshmen who are in our service advocate program and the impact they have made. I have seen dedication and compassion in these students that has truly inspired me.
In my VISTA role, I have had the opportunity to work on outreach and marketing for the Diabetes Prevention Program and the Family Dinners at MLK. When spending my time at Salve Regina, I work on recruiting and helping out with planned service projects. I have also planned a new service trip that students will have the chance to go on this May. I work to strengthen partner relationships between both sites, and have done so by providing students at Salve more opportunities to get involved with the MLK Center through programs like the family dinners. I am so grateful for the opportunity I was given through AmeriCorps VISTA to serve and learn about Newport in a different light. It has been a true learning experience and continues to be one of the best decisions I’ve made.