A recent graduate from Loyola University, Laquesha received her degree in International Business. However, it was service that impacted her the most during her college experience. Within her first month of her freshman year of college, Laquesha was already heavily involved in service through a program called UNITE (Urban Needs Introduced through Experience). UNITE directly served the Baltimore City community by assisting with issues of poverty and homelessness.
Laquesha's first assignment with UNITE was at Beans and Bread, a homeless shelter where she went beyond assisting people at the shelter, and actually put herself in their shoes by staying there. She describes this as a truly humbling experience. "It opened up a new world for me. I realized I had prejudices that needed to be broken down." Service not only taught her about herself, but it also taught her about the complexity behind poverty. "Serving has taught me to have dignity for people," she said.
When it came time for Laquesha to graduate, she thought about her next step. She had two choices: Either go into the workforce immediately through a career in international business or continue doing what she was passionate about, which was service. Laquesha chose to continue her service so she enrolled in the AmeriCorps VISTA program. Through her skill set and passion, she knew Maryland New Directions was the place for her, especially since she wanted to transition from direct service to indirect service through community outreach and creating a larger professional network for the clients at MND. "MND was perfect because it related to my service. Through MND helping people find jobs, they are helping in the fight against homeless."
When asked about what she enjoys most about working at MND thus far, Laquesha says, "the staff. The staff at MND is like a family, similar to the family I had through UNITE. Everyone here is genuinely focused on the client and cares about them."