- Brown University AmeriCorps VISTA Fellows
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Education: B.S. Biology, University of Houston
Biography: Richard is an AmeriCorps VISTA member as a Social Service and Data Management VISTA with the Refugee Dream Center. Focused on building the capacity of the Center to help more people, Richard strengthens community partnerships, increases accessibility to resources and uses data and visuals to measure outcomes. Following college, Richard worked at Baylor College of Medicine for 15 years in basic biomedical research and moved into research administration, a career he continued at the University of Colorado Boulder for several years. With an interest in field research, Richard studied in a field school in Indonesia for the summer of 1994 with Dr. Birute Galdikas to observe wild orangutans and learn language and culture. Richard enjoys kayaking, engaging in the arts, learning, and exploring his new home in Providence.
Why I Serve: I chose to serve to support education and community building programs for vulnerable individuals so they can take steps to avoid poverty, empower themselves through education, stay healthy and realize new opportunities. I am already being positively transformed by this work and the people his organization serves. As a result, I know that I am right where I should be.
Why Brown University AmeriCorps VISTA Fellowship? Changing careers can be a challenge. Working through the Swearer Center at Brown University and with AmeriCorps VISTA allows me to access the resources of academic and government organizations for my work in my new career in the nonprofit realm. I was drawn to the program because of the Swearer Center's philosophy to develop a sustainable and reciprocal community partnership to build on community strengths and address community challenges. With my strong background in academia, my passion for education and my belief that everyone should have the opportunity to thrive, the Swearer fellowship was a great fit.