The moment I joined TCAH was a turning point. I was going through a lot of things. My mother passed away in 2019, and then the pandemic hit in 2020 during my senior year of college. I knew that something needed to change because I was feeling utterly defeated. I decided to join TCAH’s Opportunity Youth (OY) Program, which serves out-of-school youth and gets them on the path to self development and future employment in viable and in-demand fields. I can say without reservation that this was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I always loved coming to the OY and wound up putting in more time than it required because I was so enamored of TCAH and its mission. I loved getting to know customers and clients, and always sought to discover ways to better serve them. After a successful stint in the OY Program, I was eventually hired by TCAH and then recently promoted to my current role as Assistant Manager of Food Distribution Services, where I help oversee operations at our Brooklyn warehouse and distribution center. This position has given me the opportunity to see just how much food we are giving to the community and how vulnerable the people we serve really are. It has been a humbling experience. I realized that hunger can happen to anyone, at any time. I never want to see anyone experiencing hunger and that is what gets me out of bed in the morning.
At TCAH, I’ve learned a lot–I’ve learned to be a young professional, to be more confident, to manage people, and assert myself in situations. I’ve worked at a girl scout council with the majority of my counterparts being Caucasian. I’ve never seen a reflection of myself like I do here in the people at TCAH. This has been a liberating experience, and has helped me to clearly see that I can make a difference and don’t have to limit myself. Knowing that I am valuable means the most to me. This wasn’t something that I always knew, especially before my time in the OY program.
TCAH is going to take NYC by storm! At the rate that we are growing and hunger is growing, our fight is becoming exponentially bigger with time. We can’t stop hunger but we certainly are doing our best to alleviate it. The fight against hunger is a rewarding one. I want to learn more about ways I can help my community, and aim to do graduate work in food studies and food insecurity/food access. I see myself always on the ground fighting and giving back for life. The fashion industry interested me at one point, but slowly I realized it wasn’t where my passion and heart resided. I really do feel like I have found both my purpose and my home at TCAH.