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‘Reintroducing’ ServiceWorks to CPDC 

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

The ServiceWorks VISTA role at CPDC must seem a bit elusive to other CPDC staff at times.

We entered the office this summer People-on-Puzzle-Piecesand met our new coworkers, but many people still didn’t really understand what it is we do here.

Part of this is because it took time for the five of us to actually figure out what we were doing.

ServiceWorks has many elements and can be tough to explain briefly, yet in a complete way.

So in some ways, we needed to get through a cycle and see how it would work before being able to spread the ServiceWorks message well.

Last Friday, we had the opportunity to present the ServiceWorks model–and our work thus far–for all interested staff members. We teamed up with Volunteer Engagement to present successes from our first cohorts at the Stony Brook and Edgewood Commons properties, including their successful capstone projects.

We also discussed what we learned, and what we’re working on to make our next cohort at Mayfair Mansions an even greater success.

It felt great to present ourselves on Friday and control some of the impressions that swirl around our role.

As the youngest members of a staff, I think it’s natural to want to prove yourself to some degree. And we got to do that in this meeting.

Hopefully we attracted some new volunteers to the ServiceWorks initiative as well.

We are extremely grateful to all of the CPDC staff members who took the time to listen to our presentation and participate so willingly. Their questions and comments pushed us to think deeply about our work and how we approach it, and that is extremely valuable to us.

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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