WHAT DREW YOU TO ORIGIN SC ORIGINALLY? AND HOW HAS THE ORGANIZATION CHANGED SINCE?
Originally, I took a job with Origin as an AmeriCorps Vista. Prior to taking the position, I had recently spent most of a year volunteering in a very impoverished area of the grenadine islands. Upon my return to the United States, I realized just how much the community that I grew up in, needed help dealing with poverty too. So, when considering the position, the organization’s mission and vision, centered around financial stability and homelessness prevention, resonated with me deeply.
The organization has changed quite a bit on the outside but still feels the same within. When I took the job as a VISTA the organization was called Family
Services Inc. and it had a completely different look. We have since rebranded and now are known in the community as Origin SC.
What has surprised you the most about working at Origin SC?
I think I still am surprised by all the different departments that make up this organization. For example, I didn’t realize that we had a Family Violence Intervention program until after I began working here. In addition to that, I feel like we are always trying to find new ways to make a difference in the community. Since I have started working here, we have added a new student loan debt management program as well.
What is an experience that has really shaped who you are?
More recently, I would say the entire year as an AmeriCorps Vista definitely shaped where I am today. It was very tough financially and there were times I wanted to give up. I had to work two jobs to make sure the bills were paid. However, it made me more compassionate for some of the people we serve, the people working really hard but still struggling financially. It also made me more self-aware in terms of what I am able to overcome and achieve if I work hard. Usually, the most difficult experiences are able to bring about the biggest change or growth within us.
How has Origin SC helped you in your career development?
My experience at origin has definitely offered the opportunity for me to grow and obtain experience in different areas. After my year as a VISTA, Origin hired me to work in the administration department. I have learned a lot in this position and in my year as a VISTA.