Engaging Families for Student Success

VISTA Spotlight: Fendey Jean-Baptiste

June 12, 2015

AmeriCorps VISTAs serve nationally to strengthen local organizations that serve low income communities. At Turning the Page, they’re fundamental to bolstering partnerships with parents and school staff and forging long-lasting relationships with local nonprofits, museums, and universities. In fact, VISTAs are a part of almost all aspects of TTP programs, and are the faces behind outreach strategy, child mentoring activities, field trips, social media, program evaluation, and research.

Here on the TTP blog, VISTAs share a little bit about themselves and their work in their own words!

Name: Fendey Jean-BaptisteFendey VISTA spotlight

Hometown: Boston, MA

Hats I wear at TTP: I provide logistical support for Hart Middle School, mail recruitment materials to families and analyze Turning the Page data.

Fun fact about me: I studied abroad in Greece during my junior year of college—it was so much fun!

Why I chose a year with AmeriCorps VISTA: I chose a year with AmeriCorps VISTA due to my interests in community organizing and educational equity. After I researched AmeriCorps VISTA, I felt confident AmeriCorps would provide me with an opportunity—both intellectually and professionally—to engage with passionate individuals in a way that I had not previously experienced before.

Fendey at mobile market

Fendey and a Hart Middle School student volunteering at Hart’s Mobile Market

A story from my year of service: My service gave me the opportunity to meet the kindest, most sincere people I have ever met. The families Turning the Page partners with are passionate individuals, who will do anything to improve the educational opportunities for their children. My favorite moment happened at a Community Night: A parent attended the Community Night, despite spending the entire day between a hospital and work. After she realized my surprise at her infinite energy, she said, “No matter what, I always have energy when it comes to my child.” Through my interactions with so many passionate parents, grandmothers and grandfathers, cousins, uncles and aunts, and close family friends, I have learned the true definitions of passion and perseverance. Without a doubt, my service at Turning the Page provided me with my greatest education!