AmeriCorps VISTA Leader Pursues a Career Path with Intention and Passion

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Hello! My name is La’Teya Burrows M.S., ADT., a Baltimore City native and Transform MidAtlantic VISTA Leader. My passion is to coach, educate, and empower others to leverage struggles as lessons and opportunities for growth and success. My passion also includes helping others uncover barriers/issues affecting their lives, both personal and professional, and helping them create a plan to solve the problems they face. My core principles are impartiality, unity, neutrality, independence, volunteer services, and The Rogerian style of therapy.

I have participated in the annual Service-Learning and Civic Engagement (SLCE) Conference sponsored by Transform Mid-Atlantic and helped higher education institutions with capacity building. My intellectual curiosity drives me to be a lifelong learner. My educational background includes a Master's degree in Human Service Administration with a concentration in Addiction Counseling. Currently, I am pursuing a Master's degree in Psychology and aspire to become a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.

During the pandemic, food insecurities reached an all-time high. Many citizens in Baltimore were severely impacted. Seniors aged 65 and older were among those who I chose to help. Working in collaboration with an area nonprofit, I delivered groceries and a hot meal to seniors in need. The pilot program lasted for six months and provided nutrition assistance to 25 Maryland residents. This experience led me to an opportunity to help students at The University of Baltimore’s Campus Pantry

The Campus Pantry upholds its mission by supporting community members, providing nutritious, culturally relevant foods, and ensuring accessibility for all members of the UBalt community. They also enthusiastically welcome suggestions from its beneficiaries. Creating more equitable access to food and providing financial literacy information through education and community partnerships is a goal shared within the Campus Pantry. By actively listening, learning, supporting, and appreciating each person's worth and diverse needs, the Pantry has become a valuable resource and has addressed social determinants of health.

As an AmeriCorps VISTA and UBalt student, I aim to create education and advocacy programs that lead toward self-sufficiency and sustainability for all community members. My time with the campus pantry was a very filling experience. I must give a special thank you to the CSEI staff at UB. They enabled me to perform my VISTA duties through their generous support for the Campus Pantry and for helping to provide a safe and impactful opportunity for me to grow as a professional was truly appreciated. Since my service year has ended the CSEI staff have expanded the Baby Bee Corner of the pantry which I started. The Baby Bee corner provides essential baby needs and formula to its participants.

My commitment to justice and equity has been demonstrated in my personal and professional life. I believe in ensuring the basic needs of those I serve are met. I believe in showing everyone unconditional positive regard and meeting people where they are in life. These principles have guided my professional journey and are why I chose the field of Human Service Administration. I acknowledge that there are systems to help marginalized communities; however, more must be done to ensure these systems are free of biases and discrimination. I have chosen to stand in the gap and deliver evidence-based leadership strategies to advance human service organizations and demolish broken systems.

"I have decided to dedicate two years of service to Transform MidAtlantic because I believe in the mission and vision of the organization and the people and communities they serve"

As I transition to the next phase of my life, I have decided to follow my passion and pursue psychology. Psychology has been a part of my life indirectly for many years, from something as insignificant as people watching in a cafe to an impromptu counseling session for a friend with emotional trauma. I have genuinely desired to work with people for a long time. I have always been fascinated with human behaviors and understanding how the mind empowers individuals to lead better lives.

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