My name is Rachel Kauppila, I’m 25 and I’m excited to be a new member of the VIA Local Organizing Committee at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Burlington! I first became involved when I attended a VIA-sponsored presentation in the fall entitled “How to Organize to Correct the Injustice of Economic Disparity in our Society.” I came away from the event informed, impassioned, and motivated to get involved with VIA to work on issues of economic injustice. I was impressed with the speaker and the facilitation of the event, and even more impressed that there was structured time at the end to meet with the various LOCs. It was there that I was introduced to a few incredibly welcoming members from St. Paul’s LOC who encouraged me to attend the next VIA meeting.
VIA has hooked me for two important reasons. First of all, the LOC at St. Paul’s is primarily focused on issues of economic injustice, a cause that is near and dear to my heart after growing up in a lower income area of the Northeast Kingdom, and after two years as an AmeriCorps member working The DREAM Program. Second of all, and perhaps even more importantly, the VIA meetings are awesome!! They are well structured, well run, efficient and informative! I learn something new each time, and I come away excited about the work we are doing and the people that are involved. I believe that we can and will affect change and I can’t wait to see it happen.