When were you in PowerCorpsPHL?
I was in Cohort 5 on Mr. Drew’s Philadelphia Parks and Recreation crew Black Ops.
What are you up to now?
I currently work for Manna. It’s an organization that provides nutritional support and education to people with serious illnesses. I work in their distribution center where the meals are prepared for people who are sick. The meals are very specialized to each person. Like, if they have high blood pressure, or are allergic to something, or can’t eat big portions of food. The clients get connected to Manna through their doctor and they don’t have to pay for the food.
I’m a Packer for breakfast and lunch meals. I get out all the food, and I separate it based on the labels. Then I pack the meal bags and label it so they know exactly what is in there. The clients get a week’s worth of meals delivered every Friday. Sometimes I help do the dinners too, they get 7 meals for dinner.
I first started with Manna as an Intern straight out of PowerCorpsPHL. Ms. Margy connected me to the 3 month long internship. When I was an intern I did a little of everything; I was in the kitchen cooking and on the line helping pack the food for both the breakfast and lunch side and dinner side. On my last day of the internship, they asked me to stay on! It’s part-time right now, but we’re moving locations soon and when we go to the new location I’ll be full time. Also, I’ll be all over, that means I’ll be in the kitchen again- which I like. I’ve always cooked, that’s what I wanted to do. Working for Manna is a fun experience, I get to meet all different kinds of people who come in and out of the center. I think it’s interesting to learn about what foods sick people can’t eat or don’t want to eat. It hits home for me.
I’m also trying to go back to school; I’m working on it with Mr. A.J. I was going to do culinary and business courses with Community College of Philadelphia but I have my High School Diploma and the program is only if you have a GED. I want to find something else like that. Also, I was working for Aramark at Lincoln Financial Field, but that was messing me up with Manna. It was so far from my house-it was inconvenient, and the shifts were at night a lot.
What about in your free time?
I just got my free time back haha–because I stopped working for Aramark. I dunno, I don’t do much. I used to do things, now that I’m working I’m tired and just want to sleep all the time. But I like to travel. I just went to New York and to Vermont to visit friends. I spend a lot of time with my family; with my sister and my nephews. I took them to 6 Flags last weekend.
What motivates you?
I’m motivated by my family. I’m motivated by myself because nobody else is going to tell me I can do this, I gotta tell myself I can do it. I want to be successful, I want to have my own business. I have three different ideas: a small restaurant, a hair salon, and something with kids. I’ve been away for a long time, me personally, I know a lot of people don’t have anybody–so I’d want to open a business to help kids like that.
How did your time with PowerCorpsPHL impact you?
If it wasn’t for PowerCorpsPHL, I wouldn’t be where I’m at now. I’ve been away, it was hard for me to find jobs. PowerCorps supported me, helped me in finding and applying for jobs. They helped me think about school.
I think my time with PowerCorps made me into a stronger person. I was kinda shy, it made me be more open. I talk to my peers and coworkers more. Also, Mr. Drew used to always get on me for being late. With Manna, I have to be here at 6am. That means I wake up at 4am; it was tough, but I’m not late anymore. PowerCorps also got me asking more questions, and with that, being more involved.
What do you miss about PowerCorpsPHL? What don’t you miss?
I miss everybody, my crew; I mean we had a rough patch, but now that we all went our separate ways I’m sad we don’t get to see each other that much.
I don’t miss having to go to a different site every day.
What do you hope to do in the future?
I hope to have my own house and a successful career. I want to have a successful small business that people enjoy coming to and that will expand into something bigger.