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Laying the ServiceWorks Foundation at Mayfair Mansions

cpdc-serviceworks-team-katie-o-marraBy: Katie O’Marra, CPDC ServiceWorks

This is crunch time for ServiceWorks at CPDC. Our MLK Day of Service is just behind us and now, a boot camp event and the start of our 5-week program is just around the corner.

As the partnership coordinator and ‘lead’ VISTA for ServiceWorks at Mayfair Mansions, I’ve been busy engaging with local high schools and organizations to get the word out about our opportunities.

This all seemed quite daunting a month ago when plans were abstract and I was unsure of how school administrators and other partners would respond to my asking for favors.

CPDC's Washington D.C. Mayfair Mansions community.

CPDC’s Washington D.C. Mayfair Mansions community.

That apprehension was misguided however, and once I learned what communication style was most effective for this context (in person visits), we made great strides!

Victories including positive feedback from a high school vice principal, meaningful engagement with students and potential ServiceWorks scholars, and the opportunity to share information about ServiceWorks at a local ANC meeting made the planning worth it.

More, all of this engagement has allowed me to gain a better understanding of the Parkside-Kenilworth neighborhoods and its residents. I’ve been touched by their generosity and receptivity! Hopefully this knowledge and experience can inform our efforts in the community going forward.

Katie O’Marra is a native New Yorker and recent graduate of Fordham University in the Bronx, where she studied International Political Economy, Sociology, and Arabic. She brings to ServiceWorks a passion for building strong communities in service—a mission fortified during her years as an executive board member and team leader for Global Outreach service projects. These interests were further realized during Katie’s six month journey in Amman, Jordan where she worked with an NGO to bring sports camp to girls taking refuge in Jordan from their homelands of Syria, Palestine, and Iraq. Katie hopes to continue creating intentional and safe communities for young people of all backgrounds in her work as a ServiceWorks VISTA at CPDC.


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