• May 21, 2024
  • 3:06 PM

NDVS Welcomes Reinforcements through VISTA

Jessica Landram is unbelievably busy. She is going to school to finish her Master’s Degree in social work. She holds down a part time job. And if that wasn’t enough, five days a week she works at the Nevada Department of Veterans Services. Landram is a VISTA Member.  
If you are not familiar with the VISTA program, you should be. Americans all across the country volunteer for this federal program, which is under Americorps. Volunteers come from all walks of life to serve the underprivileged, build capacity, and foster goodwill for the organizations they represent. Think of it as a domestic Peace Corps.  
The Nevada Department of Veterans Services is now employing four of these exceptional men and women, and will soon be adding a fifth. VISTA is just one iteration of Americorps; with the September addition of at least 15 Americorps State Volunteers (people who interact directly with those in need), NDVS will be one of only a few organizations to run both programs simultaneously. VISTA Members receive either tuition assistance or a small stipend, so money certainly isn’t the allure. So why do people like Landram volunteer?  
“I was just looking for an opportunity to better serve my community and be involved in the Las Vegas area in a more meaningful capacity,” she says.  
Working with the veteran population is another perk, having family that has served in the military. One of the most rewarding thing about being a VISTA member is,”being involved with a population that is not only in need but is very appreciative of the help,” says Landram, who is in the middle of her year-long commitment. “And working with a great team.”  
Landram has already performed stellar work with the various programs within NDVS, but states her biggest accomplishment to-date is becoming a Nevada Veterans Advocate. With Nevada’s veteran population estimated to be 250,000, and more arriving all the time, the efforts of Landram and all other VISTA members are welcomed indeed. 
— Blake Boles, NDVS PIO, Southern Nevada