Making a difference with AmeriCorps VISTA

Chelsea’s AmericCorps VISTA service is coming to an end

After nearly a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) at Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota, we asked Chelsea (pictured below) to share her experience working with our ReEntry Program and participants. Thank you, Chelsea for your contributions that have made such a difference at Goodwill-Easter Seals.

Chelsea Rollay, AmeriCorps VISTA

During my time here at Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota, I have built capacity in the areas of workforce development, financial literacy and recidivism reduction for the participants who go through Goodwill Easter-Seals’ ReEntry Program.

But it is the little things that happen every day that I am most proud of.

When I am helping participants with job leads, resume building, event planning and networking, I know that the work that I contribute has real impact on someone’s life.

I work in the ReEntry Program, where I am forming relationships with businesses to employ our participants with criminal backgrounds. I hope to contribute to Goodwill Easter Seals’ reputation of evidence-based approaches in workforce development and spread knowledge about the laws around criminal backgrounds to help bridge employment gaps in the communities we serve.

Another area I am contributing to is the Employment Readiness Training and Financial Literacy Programs in ReEntry. The curriculum covers aspects of life that can have huge effects on an individual’s ability to be successful in retaining their employment once they have found the job they want. I am excited to see this program grow and see how far it can take our participants on their journey to legal, social and financial independence.

Finally, a contribution I am also proud to have brought to the ReEntry Team is a Soldering Training Program. By building a relationship with a community resource I have been able to give ReEntry participants a career option that has the potential to lead to higher wages and career advancements.

Why AmeriCorps VISTA?

My interest in being an AmeriCorps VISTA began when I was a student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. I studied the causes of poverty and inequalities in our society, but I wanted to become more involved in the efforts to end poverty.

I especially wanted to be involved with helping communities affected by our criminal justice system. Being a VISTA with Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota has given me the opportunity to utilize my skills towards that cause.


We are seeking a professional with a military connection who is passionate about serving Military Service Members, Veterans, and their families who is able to serve with us for a year starting the end of July! For details or to apply, please check out our VISTA service listing.

This VISTA position is funded through a partnership between Emerge and Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota through the Corporation for National and Community Service.

We have two VISTA positions open!
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