Kirsys's Story

Learn about Kirsys’s journey through YouthBuild to national service as an AmeriCorps VISTA member

Kirsys Soto is an AmeriCorps VISTA member at YouthBuild USA in Somerville, MA where she works with the Graduate Leadership team. In her role Kirsys strengthens the graduate network through the coordination of alumni events and councils, the management of strategic communications and the creation of resources and tools to support post-secondary goals. Her passion and commitment for working with graduates and programs comes from her own experiences as a student at YouthBuild Brockton.

After leaving the foster care system at 19, Kirsys wanted to further her education and gain work experience to support her career goals. She was connected to YouthBuild Brockton by a social worker and quickly found a home at the program. While there she developed strong leadership skills, engaged in meaningful service work and learned what it meant to be a mentor. She graduated in 2009 and joined the Young Leaders Council (YLC) where she was elected Vice President and began her work supporting the national alumni network. She served on the council for three years and ended her term as VP in 2012.

Kirsys learned about the AmeriCorps VISTA program through her peers on the YLC. She was drawn to the chance it presented to support the YouthBuild movement, specifically the graduates. As a VISTA, Kirsys has built her professional skillset and been able to continue her education with the AmeriCorps Segal Education Award. Her impact on the graduate community through her dedication and commitment to students and alumni has been palpable. She is about to begin her second year of VISTA service with YouthBuild and her goal is further strengthen the alumni network and continue her career working with Opportunity Youth.

“VISTA is one of the best things that could have happened to me. I learned skills through my service that I could not have gotten through another job. With the knowledge and experience I gained I am better prepared to reach my career goals.”

Alexis Bach
"I have wanted to be a nurse since I was about 13 or 14 years old, I’m finally able to do it and it’s amazing."
"I think it’s important to make the connection between leadership development and education."
Ely Flores
"During my time at the LA CAUSA YouthBuild program in East Los Angeles, I discovered that I was indeed a leader and that there were leadership assets within me and within my community."