“I used to tell people that I found this job by accident… but I don’t think it was an accident. I was meant to be here!”
In the summer of 2009, I moved to DC without a job or clue of what I would do next. While I was attending a fellowship through the Center for Progressive Leadership, I decided to volunteer in the DC community. I happened across the AALEAD website and thought that I could help out while searching for a job. The day before my volunteer interview, I got a call asking if I wanted to apply for the SSP coordinator position. I immediately told them “yes!” The next four years flew by in a heartbeat.
Looking back, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this experience. All I knew is that I loved community work and I loved working with youth. In many ways this was my dream job and I never believed that I could make a living doing this kind of work. My first day was a blur. I just remember Kendra Lee (past programs director) bringing me down to a room full of students and asking if I would be okay. So there I was, standing in front of 20+ students and it had begun.
There were so many things that happened in the first year. There were many challenges and many heart-wrenching moments. Yet, all I can remember now are the good times. I remember playing basketball before programs at the courts on 14th Street. I remember staying till 10 pm to work on lessons for the Secondary School Program. I remember the impromptu life conversations and the infinite number of inside jokes.
These past four years have left me with life altering experiences and many people who I humbly call family. It is not every day that you find a job that feels more like home. To the staff that I have had the honor of working with over the years, you all have taught me so much. I am a better person because of all of you.
To all the students who have allowed me to be part of their amazing lives, I’ll miss you and thank you for always being there for me.
“One day, we won’t be able to sit here like this.
In this room, we dared to master the alchemy of tomorrow.
We, the misfiring jukeboxes rewriting
history to the tune of our favorite songs.
We, the renegade anthems hurling caution into the wind.
We chase stardust and promises.
We are the last ones to grow up and we’ve never stopped dreaming.”
Till I see you again,