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Meet This Year's VISTAs!

For many years, NHTI has been fortunate to have the services of at least one AmeriCorps*VISTA on staff each academic term.  This year, we are lucky enough to have two!

Marissa O'SheaO'Shea Comes (Almost) Home

For Marissa O'Shea, coming to NHTI was (almost) like coming home.

A native of Manchester, Marissa grew up knowing all about NHTI, and even had friends who went to school here.  She herself, however, went to Saint Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont (a suburb of Burlington on the shores of Lake Champlain), where she majored in Sociology and English.  "It was beautiful," she says, "and I liked the small town feel."

Marissa says she is excited by all the many different opportunities NHTI has to offer, and wants to get involved in as many different things as she can.  Hoping to work in higher education in the future, she hopes her experience here will bolster her confidence and help her find her niche in the academic world.  "I want to meet lots of students," she says, "and get involved in as many ways and with as many different people as possible."

Tyan Acuna"It Just Seems Like a Part of Myself"

Although Ryan Acuna was born in the Philippines, he was only three years old when his family moved to New York City. Three years later they relocated again, to join other family members in Michigan.

So Ryan grew up as a Midwesterner, but with a bilingual and multicultural background.  He attended Wayne State University in Detroit, where he earned a BA in English.  He also minored in ESL (teaching English as a Second Language), and got practical experience tutoring international students at a local high school.

"I always wanted to go into ESL," says Ryan.  "As a Philippine-American, it just seems like a part of myself.  One of my goals is to teach ESL abroad -- I like visiting new places -- or maybe in high school."

When Ryan learned about the opportunity to work with ESL students through the AmeriCorps*VISTA program, it seemed like a perfect fit.  And for a big city boy like Ryan, NHTI and Northern New England are a whole new experience.  "So much wilderness!" he says. "It's great!"