What’s your history? How did you end up at Community Solutions?
I have been involved with and working in the Brownsville community for the past 50 years. I have been a motivator for change and an advocate for youth services, and I have encouraged inclusion in the process to create a dialogue that can help Brownsville residents be a part of solutions here. I retired in 2013 to care for my mother, who passed away in 2014, which left a void in my life. I met Carmen Jackson while walking through the neighborhood and was informed about the opening of the Gregory Jackson Center, which Community Solutions built, and where its Brownsville Partnership is based. She invited me to the ceremony and introduced me to the a staff member who asked me to volunteer my services. The rest is history.
You’re really skilled at what you do and could probably do it anywhere. Why do you choose to give your talents to Community Solutions everyday, instead of someplace else?
Community Solutions represents the commitment and compassion that is so dear to me and to this community. The organization has given me the honor of being able to share my wisdom, expertise and knowledge.
What’s one story that best captures your reason for doing this work or the impact you feel you’re making here? Tell us something we might not see or learn about otherwise.
I know that feeling of hopelessness, having been abused in my youth and not having a male role model. I remember having a mentor who took time to encourage me to strive for better and to get an education. I got an after-school job in the basement of a public housing development, where I became increasingly intrigued by the impact a small group of caring adults were having on such large number of youth. I was inspired to continue that journey, and I have. I am blessed to still be able to share, mentor, encourage and serve as a beacon of hope.