United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region welcomes Jazmin Awada as the Community Building VISTA for AmeriCorps, through United Way’s national network. During her year-long service position, she will focus on economic mobility within the community.
“My goal is to help expand and enhance financial literacy programs and Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition’s free tax-preparation programs in the community,” explained Jazmin. “In addition to this, I also will be working toward expanding United Way’s Day of Sharing program.”
Jazmin Awada moved to Poughkeepsie a year ago. She is a native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in Sociology of Law, Criminology and Deviance; and a minor in Public Health. Her work with nonprofits began through various internships she completed during college, including LegalCORPS, Watch MN and the Council on Crime and Justice, among others.
“My internships with social justice organizations inspired me to pursue a career in nonprofits and social services,” Jazmin explained. Her first experience with the AmeriCorps VISTA program was during an internship at LegalCORPS when she worked alongside a VISTA employee. As someone who not only wants to “give back,” but to “pay it forward,” Jazminwas interested in exploring opportunities offered by the VISTA program.
Both of Jazmin’s parents are active with Minneapolis’ United Way and she explained that she knew UWDOR would be “a great fit for me as I would be working at an organization that I knew I liked and with a program that matched my interests.”
Jazmin is responsible for forging partnerships with community organizations to improve financial conditions for low-income members of Dutchess and Orange counties.
Nationwide, 16 United Ways (including UWDOR) are involved with VISTA economic mobility programs. Melissa Clark, Director of Community Impact, noted that, “Jazmin is a great addition to our team. Having a Community Building VISTA at United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region enables us to connect with and assist even more members in the community than we previously have been able to. This allows us to take a big step toward improving the health, education and financial stability of all community members in Dutchess and Orange counties.”