Annarose Zelano is currently serving as the Internal Leadership & Partnership AmeriCorps*VISTA at the Community Service Office at the Rhode Island School of Design. In this role, Annarose coordinates the RISD LEADS program and other initiatives to support a culture of service, supporting students to become civically-engaged leaders.
Where did you go to school? I went to the University of Rhode Island (Rhody Rhody Rams!) where I studied Fashion Merchandising and Design as well as Leadership Studies.
What are your personal and professional interests? Personally, I love cooking (and eating), going on weekend adventures, being outside, and napping. Professionally, I really enjoy learning about others and making personal connections. To me, those connections are what are the base of any good working relationship and create diversity and creativity. Getting to hear other people’s stories and learn about their perspectives, experiences, and culture can really make a work environment thrive. I am also interested in event planning, youth leadership and empowerment, sexual health and domestic violence advocacy, and education access.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Teleportation or Food Vision…okay, Food Vision 🙂
Story of Service: As a Providence native and someone who was actively involved on my college campus, I understand the importance of civic engagement in the community and its impact on the person serving and those they serve. I choose to serve because I feel like it is a personal responsibility we all have while we are here on earth to make it a better place to live for all.
The impact my position at RISD has on poverty may not be super obvious, but it most definitely has one. Through coordinating the weekly leadership program, RISD LEADS, and working with student organizations, I am providing the tools, education, and opportunities for students to access the greater Providence community and make a difference. At RISD, students tend to get caught up in their studio work and stay within the “RISD Bubble.” With the work the VISTA program provides, we are helping break that cycle and getting the students out in the community, creating a culture of community involvement and civic responsibility across RISD’s campus.
During my year of service, I have been able to successfully coordinate 24 RISD LEADS sessions with a total of over 1,000 student attendees, advise the 2016 Alternative Spring Break trip to Washington, D.C. (pictured above), and engage over 50 student clubs to complete community service through my work with the Social Impact Requirement and Volunteer Clearinghouse.