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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Back in Black

Bloggy woggy I'm back!!

Hello friends and family. I have just returned from an exciting, invigorating, inspiring, motivating and wonderful training. I am in love with an organization known as NSP. And I love all of the people who work there.
I feel really grateful to be a part of this organization. Every person that I work with is phenomenal and I'm really excited to work with them and learn from them throughout the year.
I know I must sound like a fluffy tree fairy but seriously, it was great. I'll give you a rundown of the training.

Day One:
This was a full day of introductions to the organization, the national office staff and AmeriCorp in general. We have a wonderful and supportive staff in the National Office. Here's a snipit from the letter our CEO inclosed in our traning packets:
This week, we will walk you through all core elements of NSP's local and national operations, as well as through your work plan for the year ahead. We hope that you will return to your NSP Local Office feeling prepared and excited for your term. Of equal importance, we hope that you will leave with the confidence that you have a strong network of colleagues across the country as well as National Office team that will guide and support you throughout each of the journey ahead...I am honored that each of you has chosen to join us in accomplishing this important work, and I can't wait to learn from you and watch you grow. We look forward to an incredible year ahead.
We ended the day with a really fun barbecue at our COO Amy's house. Everyone in Florida should be happy to learn that I taught a whole new group of people the ways of the awkward turtle, creepy spider and shady palm tree. I also learned some new ones which I will most def. pass on.

Day two.
Diversity Training/cultural competence
I get really excited about diversity training every since I experienced Gatorship at UF. It was really cool to have an environemnt to discuss diversity issues and their significance to our work. We also did true colors which you can learn more about here http://www.truecolorstest.com/True_Colors_Test.shtml. Afterwards we got to hear from a client speaker. He was really inspiring and gave me a real perspective shift on how to work with clients.
This was the first of many nights of mafia as well. duh duh duh.

Day three
Client Service Training
oh wee! This was a pretty intense day. We got to share some best practices for getting resources for clients. We also did some hands on training, where members of the staff potrayed different clients with different needs and we learned to work with them. We also learned some basics to social work as well as the fundamentals of NSP's approach to working with clients. We were given the client service manual which is NSP's comprehensive guide to working with clients and tackling issues.
Afterwards we went to dinner at this place called Alero's. It was pretty fun!

Day Four
Volunteer recruitment, training and management
This was the day I was the most excited about and it def. lived up to my expectations. I'm realy stoked about leadership development with our volunteers, its what initially drew me to this job. We have a volunteer training manual which will prove really helpful throughout the year.

Day Five:
Development and Communications
affectionately known as Dev/Comm. It speaks for itself. Up to 10% of my work plan for the year will include fundraising so it was helpful to have an overview. NSP is very transparent so we were shown the goals for the year, the budget, what expenses, everything. It was pretty amazing. Our local office will have an operating budget of $6000 , so that was that.
It was a half day so I went out with some folks and did some museum visits and went around DC. We then enjoyed some jazz in the sculputre garden. And then the wonderful staff got us chinese food and we talked, laughed and played games in the national office.

Day six:
Evaluations and Operations
I love assessments! Who doesn't know that. We talked about impact measurement and how to interpret data from our offices and use it to design better services our train our volunteers. We use a couple of online information sharing tools to share best practives and provide seamless record keeping and we learned about that. We learned about more finance and operations stuff. I think I was pretty tired on this day. But then we enjoyed a wonderful picnic on the roof of the building followed by some fun picture taking and more games of mafia

Day seven.
work plan and communication
basically going over the site coordinator work plan and learning about communication and all that jazz. I have a very intenese Type A work mode that I have to learn to control better. I'm learning you can't work in a...I can't remeber but basically to share and grow and learn from those around me. But what can I say, the Gunn likes to get things done. We also spent some time learning about self care.

So it was a great week! I'll include pictures later. I've had the past two days off which I have used to rest and enjoy my life and sleeping.
I got pretty frustrated with PGW and their incosistent customers service so I walked down to the office myself. That was a great idea because after talking to the woman I learned I could waive my $380 deposit because I had a low-income, cha-ching!
It was pretty evident that I also needed a new job since $200 of every paycheck goes to pay off debt, so I am now an employee at Lush.http://usa.lush.com/cgi-bin/lushdb/about.html?expand=about. It was a stressful decision to make because I'm so invigorated about my job and I don't want anything to distract me but I've become fond of eating and being able to provide for myself without going crazy over finances so it was a needed decision.
I also signed up for some studies at Penn in the neuropyschiatry department. One of the questions they asked me during screening was, "do you have any unusual hair designs because some times we need to put nuerotransmitter (or something) helmets on your head." I'll keep you updated on those.

I can't wait to get back to work. Ciao! for now.

Song: Dream Big by Ryan Shuppe and the Rubberband

Quote: "...and when you dream, dream big."

1 comment:

emilyvux said...

Well, if you have to take a second job Lush is the place to do it. I love that store! I used to order from them in middle school before they ever came to America.