Disclaimer again, these are my own personal thoughts and opinions, no one else’s.
One of these days I’ll get in the habit of posting posts relating to the weekly review before posting the review itself, but that day is not today. And probably won’t be for a while. A recap of my activities there can be found in last weeks Weekly Review. But I said before, my trip to NYC was exactly what I needed even though I had no idea that I needed it in the first place. How was that the case?
Since coming to Las Vegas, I’ve always been very honest about the fact that I’ve had the incredible gift to have two once in a lifetime opportunities come at me back to back, being a part of Venture for America’s inaugural class and working for the Downtown Project. Appreciating working for the Downtown Project is something that happens on an almost daily basis for me. Doing the same for VFA is something that happens much less frequently. Part of it is due to the fact the Vegas is much more isolated relative to the other VFA cities (you try scheduling a phone call or a weekend trip). Part of it is that Vegas is so different from all of the other VFA city experiences. And part of it is that in some ways I’ve tried to disassociate myself from my association with VFA in Vegas simply because it adds another layer of complexity in trying to explain what I do here and how I got here (expect some sort of post addressing this at some point or another).
So what did last weekend do? It reminded me that as amazing as the Downtown Project is, Venture for America is just as awesome in some completely different ways. Downtown Project may prove to be a model that is replicable in other cities. VFA is already a model for providing an alternate path for recent college graduates. A lot of comparisons have been made between TFA and VFA and I don’t think VFA will ever reach the same scale as TFA. I do think that there is a chance that VFA might one day become as well known as TFA though. The interesting thing is that future is partially related to my own actions.
Beyond being re-connected to the organization, the Summer Celebration and the days after it were the first time that 20+ of the 2012 Fellows were together in the same place at the same time. It was awesome to reconnect with all of them in person, which is making me look forward to training camp part deux even more. Beyond all the VFA and Fellows love, I had the chance to catch up with old friends from school and solidify some new friendships in the process as well. I’m surrounded by good people here in Vegas, but there’s something special about spending time with good people that you have known for longer and haven’t seen in a while. I guess absence does make the heart grow fonder…