VISTA’s find out about the year-long, national service program in many different ways. For Sheryl Katz, she didn’t even know what VISTA was until after she had her heart set on working for Kids in the Game. She was working full-time at a law firm doing marketing when she realized it just wasn’t for her. “I wanted to work with youth who had backgrounds similar to myself – active, sports-driven childhoods,” said Katz. A native of Seaford, New York on Long Island, Sheryl played multiple sports and attended summer camp religiously each year. She knew first-hand the importance that sports – and the skills that came from playing them – had on her life and wanted to work somewhere that had this as a primary focus.
A graduate of SUNY New Paltz with a degree in Public Relations and Linguistics, Sheryl was adept at all things marketing. While searching online for something that fit into where her passion and skill-set met, she found Kids in the Game. KING – as it is affectionately referred – is a provider of school fitness programs and sports clinics in NYC schools. She met multiple times with staff at KING and simply fell in love – with the staff, the kids and the overall mission of the organization. Eventually, she was nominated for a VISTA position, for which she applied and was hired.
During her service year and now in her full-time marketing role, Sheryl provides support in marketing, social media, public relations, community development and human resources. While her efforts span departments, Sheryl stresses that it is really an all-hands-on-board team effort to make the organization run, with one overarching goal: kids first. She felt like a part of the team immediately and says one of her service year highlights is the staff at KING. “Working with everyone I get to work with is definitely a highlight. Having Up2Us Sports coaches and VISTAs, past and present – makes it all one big family,” said Sheryl.
Four months into her full-time position, Sheryl says her job is pretty much the same. “I love being on site and doing the work I do and seeing it improve the kids lives in the programs,” she shared. She loves where she is and has no plans to go anywhere else: “right now, where I am, I’m really happy. I would love to be in the sports-based youth development arena for a while – I’d love to be here for as long as I can and see where it takes me.”
Read more about how Up2Us Sports VISTAs are turning their service year into full-time careers.