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Graduate Program: Public Service, Nonprofit Leadership
Undergraduate Degree, Institution: Bachelors in Spanish, Minor in Chemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Trinity Nonprofit Agency: The Gathering: Project Manager, Strategic Plan Implementation
I completed my year of service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Hartford, CT. In Hartford, I worked as a housing case manager at a supportive housing organization for adult men who were previously homeless. This included working with individuals on anything from personal hygiene and job skill training to making referrals for substance abuse counseling or medical appointments. The year was incredibly eye-opening and definitely set the stage for my Trinity Fellowship placement.
When I first met all the other Trinity Fellows, I felt intimidated. What a talented, strong, experienced (and much older) group of individuals! The places they had been and the things they had accomplished in their lives seemed too big for me. It took only a few short weeks to grow close to the other fellows. I grew to look forward to catching up with them, hearing about their placements, what they were doing with their lives, how the experience was moving and shaping them. After two years, I found a group of some of the closest friends I could ask for--A group of tirelessly supportive, joyful and enthusiastic people, a group that will, undoubtedly, change their communities.
When I was first notified of my placement with Trinity Fellows, I was intimidated and concerned. I was told I would be working as the, “fresh produce preservation project manager” for a community meal program. What did that mean? As a people person, I was not really concerned with spending my time with vegetables. After a few months adjusting to my new placement, I grew to love the FPPP and all it had to offer. The FPPP is an innovative project of The Gathering. The project accepts large donations of fresh produce and cans/freezes the produce for use in The Gathering’s winter meals. The project works to alleviate some of the negative health consequences of poverty on a number of levels. Before I knew it, I was a certified master food preserver and I was putting everything I could into jars. I also grew to love The Gathering’s guests and I firmly believe that they deserve healthy food choices and a supportive environment.
After a hike in Northern Spain, I will be returning to Milwaukee. I intend to stay with my current placement agency (The Gathering) in a new position. I have been hired on as their Director of Programs and Volunteer Management. I have fallen in love with Milwaukee and do not see myself leaving anytime soon!
Director of Development, ACTS Housing
Carolyn Swabek, Director
Alisha Klapps Balistreri, Assistant Director
Peggy Mead, Program Assistant
1250 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53233
Phone: (800) 222-6544
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