AmeriCorps VISTAs: Where are They Now?

AmeriCorps VISTA

At Up2Us Sports, we work to increase the capacity of our more than 1,300 member organizations who use sports to make a positive impact. Sports has the power to pull young people out of poverty by providing them with positive adult-mentors in the form of coaches, giving them access to opportunities to learn and take risks in a safe environment, and providing them a pathway to education, leadership and job skills. The Up2Us Sports AmeriCorps VISTA program, now in its eighth year, is a critical part of this effort.Each year, a cohort of roughly 30 Up2Us Sports AmeriCorps VISTA members are placed at member organizations all over the country and commit one year of their lives to service through sports. They mobilize community members, build partnerships, recruit and manage volunteers and help their organizations raise funds for program growth.

Nowhere has VISTA impact been more profound than here at Up2Us Sports. Since our founding, VISTA members placed internally at Up2Us Sports have been critical to our success and growth:

  • They were the first line of regional expansion, working all over the country to develop sports-based youth development communities where none existed. This work paved the way for the fully-staffed, thriving regional offices we have today.
  • Up2Us Sports VISTA members are responsible for many of the systems we have for fundraising and have been pivotal in our development department’s success.
  • Our most recent VISTA members have provided measurement and evaluation support for our coaching program nationally and are working to build systems that allow our regional staff to evaluate their coaches more efficiently.

Each year, the Up2Us Sports VISTA Leader works closely with all VISTA members, those at Up2Us Sports and those at member organizations, to provide support, training and professional development opportunities.

As an official Employer of National Service, we are proud of the great things that our internal VISTA alumni have gone on to do. In fact, you don’t need to look far to find them – there are currently five former internal VISTAs working full-time at Up2Us Sports. Take a look below to read about these five, as well as 27 other former internal VISTAs, and where they’re at now!


Current full-time Up2Us Sports staff

Alex Bondy VISTA: 2011-2013, Marketing Associate NOW: Senior Manager, Brand Design and Social Media

Bobby Gendimenico VISTA: 2014-2015, Regional Associate – New Orleans NOW: Program Manager, New Orleans

Julie McMillan VISTA: 2010-2012, Development Associate NOW: Development Manager

Casey Stewart VISTA: 2015-2016, Monitoring and Evaluation Associate NOW: Monitoring and Evaluation Manager

Jacob Toups VISTA: 2011-2013, Regional Coordinator – Los Angeles NOW: Senior Regional Manager, Los Angeles

Former full-time Up2Us Sports staff

Alysse Engleman VISTA: 2011-2013, Regional Coordinator- Chicago 2013-2015: Senior Regional Manager – Chicago

Susan Golbe VISTA: 2011-2013, Research Associate 2013-2016: Senior Manager, Monitoring and Evaluation NOW: MBA Candidate at Dartmouth College

Leah Mehl-Laituri VISTA: 2012-2014, VISTA Leader 2014-2015: Program Manager – Capacity Building NOW: Program Officer, Corporation for National and Community Service

Former Up2Us Sports VISTAs

Jessica Burdick VISTA: 2009-2010, Research Associate NOW: Project Coordinator, Chicago School Readiness Project at NYU

Regan Colestock VISTA: 2009-2010, Development Associate NOW: Assistant Online Marketing Manager, Oxford University Press

Heather Langerman VISTA: 2009-2010, Member Services Coordinator NOW: Manager, Corporate Strategy, Cardinal Health

Mark Macdonald VISTA: 2009-2010, Outreach Associate NOW: Vice President of Strategy and Operations, Thuzio

Rena Deitz VISTA: 2010-2012, External Relations and Membership Associate/VISTA Leader NOW: Education Specialist, International Rescue Committee

Hillary Mulka VISTA: 2010-2011, Regional Coordinator – New York NOW: Senior Account Executive, Campbell Marketing & Communications

Kelsey Pullar VISTA: 2010-2011, Research Associate NOW: Research Coordinator Lead, University of Washington Surgical Outcomes Research Center

Karlee Weinmann VISTA: 2010-2011, Member Services Associate NOW: Research Associate, Institute for Local Self Reliance

Matt Doyle VISTA: 2011-2012, Membership Services Coordinator NOW: Marketing and Events Intern, Laureus USA; Graduate Student at Columbia University (MS in Sport Management)

Colin Meadow VISTA: 2011-2012, Regional Coordinator – New York NOW:  District Sales Manager, Boathouse Sports

Nicole Pond VISTA: 2011-2012, Regional Coordinator – Denver NOW: Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student, University of Denver

Danielle Royster VISTA: 2011-2012, Regional Coordinator – Boston NOW: Morning Show Producer, Cumulus Media

Vilma Uribe VISTA: 2011-2012, Regional Coordinator – Boston NOW: Residency Advocacy Coordinator, The Second Step

DeShaun Wright

VISTA: 2011-2012, Communications Associate NOW: Freelance Videographer

Anna Davazo VISTA: 2012-2013, Regional Coordinator – New York NOW: Family Worker, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House

Sara Robinson VISTA: 2012- 2014, Marketing, Communications and Events Associate NOW: Account Coordinator, McCann Torre Lazur

Alexandra Kong VISTA: 2013-2014, Development Associate NOW: Chefs Cycle Coordinator, No Kid Hungry

Lauren Shaman VISTA:  2013-2014, Research and Training Associate NOW:  Master of Public Administration Student and Graduate Research Assistant, Indiana University Bloomington

Hannah Abassi VISTA:  2014-2015, VISTA Leader NOW: Youth Program Assistant, Arab-American Family Support Center of New York

Kerry Doyle VISTA: 2014-2015, Development Associate NOW:  Operations Analyst, Animalz, Inc.

Kristen Aston Cruzata (formerly Miller) VISTA: 2014-2015, Membership and Development Associate NOW:  Development and Communications Officer, Air Quality Asia

Kathryn Esty VISTA: 2014-2016, Research, Training and Evaluation Associate/VISTA Leader NOW: Program Assistant, The Institute for Health and Recovery

Erick Guerra VISTA: 2015-2016, Monitoring and Evaluation Associate NOW: Program Manager, The Motivational Edge

Dane Moist VISTA: 2015-2016, Development Associate NOW: Business Development Manager, Givergy US

Current internal VISTAs

Sam Pastor VISTA: 2015-current, Monitoring and Evaluation Associate

Candace Burton VISTA: 2016-current, VISTA Leader

Daniel Stein-Sayles VISTA: 2016-current, Monitoring and Evaluation Associate

Monika Ivanova VISTA: 2016-current, Monitoring and Evaluation Associate

Maddy Lang VISTA: 2016-current, Development Associate