Our People, Their Stories: Rachel Graham, IndyEast Promise Zone VISTA

Rachel serves as the Communications Coordinator VISTA for the IndyEast Promise Zone. After working as a high school Spanish teacher, Rachel applied for this AmeriCorps VISTA position to continue working with her community but in a new and exciting capacity. She was drawn to the position because it allowed her to learn communication and marketing skills through real-life experiences.  

In her role, Rachel creates promotional material, plans community events, coordinates the IEPZ marketing strategies, and serves as the office’s point of contact for many community partners.  

When asked about her experience as a VISTA, Rachel said, “It is the most enjoyable job that I have ever had. All my coworkers are incredibly supportive and amazing. I love that we all have different skills that allow us to work as a team and lean on each other for support. Our supervisor, Elizabeth Nash, inspires our team to feel confident in our work and abilities. That was huge for me as someone going through a career change.” 

Currently, Rachel is immersed in preparations for a federal convening that will bring together federal agencies that have funded the Promise Zone. Working directly with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Rachel is helping provide a platform for dialogue and collaboration with community stakeholders while showcasing how Promise Zone initiatives have benefitted the Near Eastside. This event will take place on June 6th at Purdue Polytechnic High School Schweitzer Center. You can learn more about the event here.  

Rachel’s year of service as the IEPZ Communication Coordinator will wrap up this June. Using her non-competitive eligibility from AmeriCorps, Rachel recently landed a job as the Administrative Officer at the EPA’s Region 8 Office in Denver, CO. She credits her supervisor, Elizabeth Nash, and AmeriCorps with connecting her to tangible professional development opportunities that broadened her career options. 

We look forward to seeing Rachel flourish in her career as a federal employee in her new city.