How long have you worked for the RBSCC Community Empowerment Center?
A little more than 3 years. I started out as a career counselor for the Career Pathways program. When we were awarded the Supportive Services for Veteran Families contract about a year and a half later, I became that program’s housing supervisor. Recently, I was promoted and became the program director for the newly expanded SNAP-Education & Training/Career Pathways program. We serve residents across NYC and provide career counseling, career development workshops, GED classes, and job training and placement.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? The most challenging?
The most rewarding aspect of the job is working with people. I really like talking to people and hearing their stories. I also like problem solving and trying to find solutions to help our participants. The most challenging aspect is seeing someone give up when you know how close they are to success. There were a few GED students I worked with as a career counselor who were so close to getting their GED diplomas and stopped for one reason for another. It’s hard to re-motivate someone who has chosen to give up.
How did you end up in this field? Why do you do this work?
I always wanted to go into non-profits. At first, I thought that I wanted to be a teacher. Helping and teaching people is one my strengths. After I realized how hard it is to be a teacher, I still wanted to remain in non-profits. Being a career counselor combined my passion for helping people and working with GED students, without putting me in front of the classroom every day.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
That’s a tough question. I feel like my career has changed so much in the last 3 years, who knows where it will be in 5? I definitely want to remain in non-profits. I think that my ideal job would be to work at a community family resource center where there was programming in one place for the entire family.
What do you like most about working for RBSCC?
I really like the staff. My co-workers are really nice, welcoming, and hard workers. Everyone is supportive of each other. I also appreciate all of the opportunities that RBSCC gives you. I have done a lot of things, such as development, grant writing, curriculum development, case management, workshop facilitation, and more. I don’t think I’d be able to gain such diverse experience or access so many opportunities anywhere else. Also, RBSCC lets you bring to life whatever idea you might have to help the program or the Empowerment Center as a whole better serve the community. I like that people listen to my ideas and allow me to follow through with them.
What’s your favorite thing about Brooklyn?
I live in Bushwick and walk to work every day. I love the diversity. There aren’t many neighborhoods that have the wide variety of people that you pass on the street here in Bushwick.
Tell us something unusual about yourself.
I’ve worn two different (or multicolored) socks every day since 2nd grade. I was inspired by my 2nd grade teacher, who wore crazy stockings and encouraged us to be ourselves. I keep doing it because it’s something that I’ve always done and it’s easier than trying to pair my socks all the time.