Team: Baltimore County East, Maryland
What advice would you give others considering taking on a year of service with The Choice Program?
“After you sit back and decide that you’re ready to commit to a year of service throw everything you have into it. A year of service means something different for everyone, and I definitely recommend separating yourself from your service when you leave at the end of the day, but doing as much as I possibly could handle during my tenure was the best decision I could have made. Throwing myself into different task teams allowed me to grow professionally and offered a space for my voice to be heard.”
What were you doing before the fellowship?
“I had just graduated college and was interning at the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center. My mentor recommended I look into The Choice Program and I am so happy I did.”
How would you describe your experience at Choice?
“Honestly, indescribable. Just when I thought I saw or learned as much as I could, I was surprised by how enriching this experience was and how much I could still grow. You definitely dedicate a lot of time and work into your year but the reward of working with these youth is well worth it. Aside from working with amazing youth your team becomes your second family that knows exactly what you’re going through and are so supportive. It’s really hard to put into words what you do, when you do it all.”
What do you enjoy most about working at The Choice Program?
“Without a doubt, the youth. It is so incredible to see how raw their emotions are and how much they teach you without even trying. I have learned more about my community and myself in my one year of service than I did in four years of college. I particularly enjoyed the nights I tracked in the field because I would select a youth to ride along with me that evening. It is an opportunity that gives you 6 hours to discuss whatever they feel like, whether it’s what’s going in their life or who their favorite music artist is at the time.”
Favorite on-the-go snack:
“Almonds, carrots, and popcorn.”