My name is Daisy and I hail from the Windy City! I am honored to get to spend this year in Baltimore (although it has a lot to live up to if we’re comparing it to Chicago). I graduated from DePaul University in Chicago, so I am able to integrate some of my Vincentian values with what I’ve learned about Catholic Charities’ principles and mission. I majored in Peace, Justice, and Conflict Resolution Studies with a minor in Community Service Studies. I participated in different service trips and service programs through DePaul; the university has created a great atmosphere to serve and connect with others outside of our college bubble.

I come from a family of six, with three sisters and a brother. I have the privilege to be the first (and so far only) person in my family to go to college, so education is really important to me. I was able to do an undergraduate year of service at DePaul at the Vincent and Louise House, which is modeled after the work of Saint Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac with tenets of social justice, simplicity, faith, service and community. I saw how much the program did for me and I wanted to continue to challenge myself in similar ways for another year. I decided on Baltimore because of Catholic Charities, and also to allow myself to see how service, hospitality and love are shown in another city. Catholic Charities of Chicago actually helped my family in multiple ways when I was younger, and I wanted to be able to be a part of that family. I am so thankful for all of the people that have been able to help my family and me throughout my life, and I want to stay in non-profit work because of them.

I feel so lucky to be working at the Weinberg Housing and Resource Center this year, and I am excited to be their first Project SERVE volunteer. There is still so much change and improvement, and I am excited to be able to be a part of that process with everyone at WHRC. I admire all of the work here and I am loving getting to share in this experience with both the residents and staff. As someone who has experienced homelessness, I want to be at Weinberg to be a part of the transition – I am very aware that homelessness is no longer my reality, and even when it was it was very different. All of the staff have just been amazing to me and I appreciate how much they practice affirmation.

As my group of seven arrived in Baltimore for Project SERVE, Allison (our Project SERVE coordinator) told us that the majority of us are left-handers, three are Spanish speakers, and two are twins – and I fall into all three categories! I really love to cook, food is my love language so I can’t wait for our open house! I look forward to understanding more of the problems and the beauty that is Baltimore. I look forward to this year with my housemates and the challenges and small victories we’ll be able to experience on our own and as a community.