National Service Recognition Day 

Mayor Kate Gallego and  members of the Phoenix City Council celebrate the City’s AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA members on National Service Recognition Day April 2.

The alumni banner.

City of Phoenix AmeriCorps VISTA Alumni Continue To “Get Things Done” in City Hall and Beyond.


Alyssa Hagerbrant

Assistant Public Information Officer


While serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA, Alyssa learned about project management, community engagement, facilitating partnerships, and managing a campaign across city departments.  The knowledge and experience gained in grant management is an asset in her current role.  Additionally, working with Public Information Office during her VISTA year provided her insight into the day-to-day of her current position.


Nicholas Roosevelt

Government Relations Representative in the Office of Government Relations in the City Manager's Office

Nick served two terms as an AmeriCorps VISTA member from 2015-2017 in the City Manager's Office as a part of The Cities of Service Resilient PHX initiative.

Nick transitioned into a position with the Office of Government Relations in the City Manager's Office working as a Government Relations Representative. Nick's recent work includes executing duties as the Budget and Research Department and procurement liaison, supporting the State and Federal lobbying teams, and various administrative responsibilities. Nick enjoys the fast-paced environment and finds it fascinating to experience where city government, policy and local and regional politics intersect.


 Katie Gentry

 Impact and Data Coordinator for the Arizona Housing Coalition

Katie served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in 2016-2017 in the Office of Mayor Greg Stanton. Her primary focus was homeless services, human trafficking, and veteran support. Katie believes being a VISTA allowed her to discover what she wanted to do and a chance to network with support the of other city staff, which ultimately landed her a job that she loves.

After her year of service, Katie transitioned to full-time employment at the City of Phoenix, focusing on homelessness. Currently she is the Impact and Data Coordinator for the Arizona Housing Coalition. The Arizona Housing Coalition is a collaborative association that leads in the efforts to end homelessness and advocate for safe, affordable homes for all Arizonians. As a statewide membership trade organization, the coalition focuses on advocacy, collaboration, and education for its members and throughout Arizona. Katie is working on coordinating and assisting with the Arizona Veteran   StandDown Alliance as well as the creation of the statewide Veteran By Name List.


Natalya Brown

Council Aide- District 8


Natalya accepted the position of Council Aide in Councilwoman Felicita Mendoza's office shortly after she completed her service as an AmeriCorps VISTA. She believes working for the City of Phoenix offers professional exposure, great benefits, and the ability to help people in a tangible way.

portraitTalia Ramella

AmeriCorps VISTA Leader, Cities of Service

Talia served as a Love Your Block VISTA, administering the grant program and working closely with neighborhood groups to build capacity and revitalize community spaces. During her year  of service she worked in neighborhoods citywide, facilitated community partnerships, and supported 15 grassroots projects. Talia is a native Phoenician and enjoyed building new relationships and engaging her city through the impactful program. Talia has accepted an AmeriCorps VISTA Leader position with Cities of Service in New York City, and hopes to use her experience as a VISTA to lead and impact future generations of AmeriCorps VISTAs.

portraitLeonard Gross

AIPAC Fellow

Lenny comes from Detroit and traveled to Phoenix with the mission of making a positive impact in Phoenix neighborhoods. He graduated from Michigan State University with a dual degree in International Relations and Spanish, spending a year living and studying in Valencia, Spain. In his spare time Lenny cooks all types of food, eats a lot of food, and runs endurance races. After nearly a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA, he's proud of the work he's accomplished. His and Talia's legacy are 15 grassroots projects, several informative videos, and a significantly increased program engagement capacity. After his year of service Lenny will continue his career as a Fellow for AIPAC  in NYC.



Willa Altman-Kaough

Office of Mayor Kate Gallego

Willa served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member from 2016-2017 in the City Manager's Office as a part of The Cities of Service Resilient PHX initiative. Willa transitioned into a position as Council Aide in Councilwoman Kate Gallego's office. Willa serves as liaison to community groups, helping community stakeholders navigate city services. Willa brought her experiences as a Resilient PHX VISTA and connections with the community to her new potion and enjoys seeing how community input is incorporated in creating policy. She also appreciates the comprehensive view of the city and how various departments and community stakeholders work together to accomplish common goals.

Sara Mattio

Lead GIS Analyst, City of Philadelphia

Sara Mattio served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member from 2015-2016 in the Public Works Department. The department was looking to educate the community about their '40 by 20' goal of reaching a level of 40% solid waste diversion by 2020. Sara was brough in to build a volunteer program that engaged the community with Public Works' efforts. As a recent college graduate looking to begin a career in government, the VISTA postion was a great opportunity to gain exposure to carious aspects of city government. She shadowed many roles in the department and managed over 200 volunteers, represented teh department at community events, and worked with a team to organize teh annual Compost Week. After completing her year as a VISTA, she went on to recieve her Master's Degree in Urban Planning from Oxford Brookes University and was hired by the City of Philadelphia's Office of Innovation and Technology, where she works today as a Lead GIS Analyst. She coordinates the work done by GIS analysts in various departments and is working on transitioning the current 911 system into the new, update Next Generation 911 system. She attributes her current position and success to the experiences she had due to her AmeriCorps VISTA year of service with the City of Phoenix.