‘Tis the season

20 Nov

If you had told me 6 months ago that I would soon be working at a non-profit organization and loving every minute of it, I would have looked at you like you were one twist short of a slinky. Back then I imagined that my holiday season would be filled with studying for stressful law school exams and prayers that winter break would finally arrive. Instead, I find myself surrounded by the smiling faces of my co-workers and the joyful presence of kids who deserve all the wonders that the season has to offer.

The cliff notes version is this: Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a lawyer. When I got to college I majored in legal studies and excelled in all my courses, but something was missing. My LSAT came and passed, my applications were ready to be sent, but my heart told me that something wasn’t right.  I decided to take a brave leap of faith, and instead of sending in those law school applications, I sent in an application to the Public Allies Miami program. I knew that I was starting a new chapter in my life, and something told me that Public Allies was exactly what I needed to begin my journey. Thankfully, I was right.

I was placed with the Miami Children’s Initiative (MCI), a non-profit organization that aims to transform the lives of children and families in Liberty City, Miami. Children here may be growing up in the midst of poverty and violence, but they are just as vibrant, beautiful, and full of potential as any other child in the world. Working with these kids brings a smile to my face everyday, but nothing highlights the positive impact that non-profit organizations have on the community quite like the holiday season. While most kids get dressed in fancy costumes and run through the streets on Halloween, kids in Liberty City don’t get the same experience. While many kids get all the presents on their wish list during December, kids in Liberty City are lucky to get even one toy. Non-profit organizations like MCI strive to change that, and seeing the look on a child’s face when they are handed a Halloween costume or a holiday toy makes it all worth it.


MCI staff members handing out Halloween gift bags filled with candy, books, and school supplies at Charles R. Drew K-8 Center

As we begin to carry out our holiday initiatives like our Halloween Character Day event and Toys-for-Tots distribution, I realize that I have never felt more confident in my decision to take the path less travelled. Non-profits and the Public Allies program do amazing things for communities all over America all year round, but there is truly nothing more inspiring than being a part of this amazing community of leaders and change makers during the holiday season


3 Responses to “‘Tis the season”

  1. brittanyvanputten November 26, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    I began my Public Allies journey the same way…with a lot of unsent law school applications, an internship at a law firm behind me, and a lot of money sunken into the LSAT and prep programs. I’m glad that is all behind me. Glad to know there are others in this cohort with a similar path. Can’t wait to hear more!

  2. Dara November 29, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    Thanks for sharing your story. I’m in grad school now after two years with Public Allies and I’ve never once doubted that this was the right choice. Kudos for you for trailblazing a new path for yourself!! Enjoy!

  3. lirosaysrelax December 10, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    Dara, thanks for the support! Great to hear from someone who has already been where i am today!

    Brittany, SO excited to know that there is someone else out there in a similar situation! I thought i was the only one 🙂 I think we both made the right decision and cant wait to see what the future holds

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