Daria Pugh serves as the Community Involvement Associate at Maryland New Directions (MND), where she is working to create a sustainable framework for increasing the involvement of volunteers, donors, and the public in the organization’s programming.
I grew up in Croton-on-Hudson, which is a small town located outside of New York City. I learned about the importance of community service at a young age while volunteering at different organizations around Westchester County through Girl Scouts. I stayed involved throughout my high school career. This experience helped me see service as a part of my life – not just a high school graduation requirement.
After graduating, I moved here to attend Goucher College, which has a deep international focus and requires every student to study abroad. Before I came to Goucher, I went on a month-long service and research trip to Kyrgyzstan, and became eager to learn more about different cultures, histories, and politics at college. At Goucher, I enrolled in international courses and the International Scholars Program. I quickly became involved with student organizations and held leadership positions that allowed me to learn about the great culture and history in Baltimore through service.
While at Goucher, I majored in international relations and studied in two Eastern European countries. When it was time for me to figure out what to do after graduation it seemed logical to look for work abroad. However, I felt conflicted because I did not want to leave the place I’d learned so much about over the past four years. I decided to stay in Baltimore and give back to the city that served me through my college education.
I learned the value of investing in adults while working as an English Second Language instructor at Goucher. I chose to become an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer at Maryland New Directions (MND) because I strongly support their mission to help adults get back on their feet to support their families and better their communities. I am so excited and honored to be serving with such an inspiring organization!
At MND, I’m developing strategies for getting the public interested and engaged in our organization. Part of this is work requires social media marketing to help spread awareness about MND’s impact and how they are changing lives through employment. Another part of my job is to recruit individuals for volunteering and fundraising. I hope to support MND by promoting our mission in Baltimore and beyond, and by creating a sustainable plan to have continuous engagement with local students, community members, and professionals.
Take a moment to check out Maryland New Directions on the Give Corps website, and
consider donating to support their work to help low-income, unemployed adults
and their families find meaningful employment.