AmeriCorps*VISTA Wayne Huang Completes Over a Year of Service

We want to thank AmeriCorps*VISTA member Wayne Huang for helping TAM build capacity, and completing 15 months of full-time service to fight poverty through education!!

Wayne Huang began his service as a Summer Associate in the NASA Summer of Innovation project in partnership with the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence. After serving over 600 students with hands-on science activities and TAM’s first Magic of Flight Fridays, Wayne wanted to continue building TAM’s partnership with Compton area schools and improving the quality of TAM’s Aero Squad After School Program.

Wayne successfully wrote a website service grant awarded by Taproot Foundation. He currently serves as the Project Manager, and is working with a team of pro bono consultants to revamp that launched earlier this month. In addition, Wayne researched and helped set-up TAM’s new donor database, created TAM’s current logo and a Branding Toolkit.

Along the way, he was able to check out some cool airplanes, field trips with students to USC Engineering and Space X. Wayne made many new friends and learned a lot about TAM’s mission and the community we serve. Wayne is extremely passionate in improving communities, and his efforts are continued by two other VISTAs Catherine Bradshaw and Cristina Tolentino. If you are interested in serving as an AmeriCorps*VISTA at TAM or in your community, click here to view opportunities.

Wayne’s VISTA Spotlight

Please describe a particularly noteworthy/memorable experience you’ve had as a result of serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA:

A recent camping trip I went on with staff and youth members of my organization comes to my mind as particularly noteworthy. Noteworthy, not so much for the camping itself, but for an experience that made me realize how close I had become to the people I’ve been working with. I had a great time on the trip and felt like a part of the group, especially sitting around the campfire joking and talking with everyone. In that sense, I feel lucky because I know not all VISTAs work in tight-knit organizations with a familial culture. Last year, when they organized the trip, I was still very much an outsider, early into my service, and not fully acquainted with everyone. I would have felt awkward going on the trip then. Things have changed so much.

Five fun facts about you:

I was a Peace Corps nominee before joining AmeriCorps.
I’m left-handed, but write with my right hand.
I’m a bit of an art nerd and can spend an entire day at a museum.
Being a lover of food who hates unnecessary waste, I want to start my own organization in LA some day recovering food that would otherwise be tossed out (not as bad as it sounds, really), and preparing and redistributing it to the needy. Oh, and I want to have VISTAs on board.
I interned at NPR one summer and loved the experience.

What motivated you to become an AmeriCorps VISTA?

I have always wanted to serve the public as a matter of practicing good citizenship. Also, recognizing that I’ve had a more privileged upbringing than many people, not just in our country, but globally, I couldn’t accept the idea of socioeconomic inequality as a norm and fact of life. The idealist in me believes those who have the capability and means to help heal a social ill, should. Lastly, on a practical front, I was motivated to become a VISTA for the opportunity it offered to grow and acquire new skills as a professional.

Quote to live by:

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” -Thích Nhất Hạnh



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