Sade Parham, GHCC-Sponsored VISTA member at Elev8 Baltimore, brings a lot of passion and energy to all that she pursues. Read below about how her educational opportunities growing up in Baltimore inspire her service today.
I have always been in the giving profession. From my experiences feeding the homeless, clothing children, tutoring the blind, and mentoring at-risk youth, I became very passionate about people receiving the services needed to succeed in life. Last year, I knew that it was time for career advancement, and I knew that a VISTA position would provide me with the skills I needed to transform. Furthermore, I wanted to give back to the community that made me a scholar.
I chose to serve in my hometown of Baltimore City because I have a passion for the youth here. Elev8 Baltimore provides educational programming for youth who face the same poverty issues I had coming up as a child. As the VISTA at Elev8, I get to practice my leadership skills by coordinating the GRADS (Growth. Resource. Achievement. Dreams. Scholarship.) Program which provides middle grade students with high school, college, and career exploration opportunities.
A highlight of my project so far has been developing an internship program for Elev8’s Student Success Center. I’ve recruited organizations such as Art with a Heart, The Enoch Pratt Library, University of Maryland Medical Center, and Baltimore City Police Department, just to name a few, to provide our students with hands-on learning experiences that will help them realize their educational and professional goals. I had a similar experience when I was in grade school, and believe that every child deserves these opportunities to explore careers in order to succeed.
Born and raised in Charm City, I attended Baltimore Polytechnic High school and continued my studies at Baltimore City Community College and Mary Baldwin College. I’m currently pursuing graduate studies in Human Services Administration at Coppin State University and hope to translate my VISTA experience and future degree into a service career. I sometimes get intimidated by seasoned professionals, but I believe by the end of my VISTA term I will have the confidence needed to lead people of all ages. I’m realizing my own goal to be happy and at peace with my professional choices, growth, failures and successes.
In honor of the AmeriCorps 20th Anniversary, February has been designated Education Month! Tell us on Twitter @GreaterHomewood how you support educational opportunity in Baltimore.