Lakeisha Gerald '10 has not only put the skills she learned at Lasell to good use, she has found a way to give back to her alma mater too.
Today, as an Academic Year Program Coordinator at the Food Project in Dorchester, she is responsible for organizing presentations and activities to aid in growth and development of diverse groups of teens - a program known as "DIRT" (Dynamic Intelligent Responsible Teens).
Earlier this year, she reached out to Lasell's Career Services Office to find a way to connect her current position with Lasell.
She began her work with the Food Project in high school from as a volunteer with the organization's Youth Program and while she enjoyed volunteering, Lakeisha says she did not expect to return to the program.
In January 2011, she held an event for the Food Project youth program along with Lasell's Career Services, which included a 3 ½ hour workshop covering self-assessment, creating a resume, and career/major information. "I was proud to see Lasell on the map for my teenagers, having them see college as a way to go. To see that after college, it is possible to get a job," she says.
At Lasell, Lakeisha was a Communication major with a minor in Sociology. "I knew I wanted to work with teens, but I was great at writing," she says.
What she learned in Lasell's communication program continues to help her in her new position, including when she rewrite the Food Project's Academic Program Manual. Within the Social Sciences program at Lasell, Lakeisha was able to help learn how to work with teens and that it had a great influence on her career path.
Lakeisha also found herself learning from the clubs and organizations she was involved with at Lasell, including her time as Multicultural Student Union president (which assisted her in learning to work with budgeting), being a Career Assistant, being an RA (where her training and one-on-one meetings with residents helped her to understand where teens were coming from), working with Diversity Inclusion (something that she had appreciated even back in her early Food Project volunteer days) and working with Habitat for Humanity.
In her last year, Lakeisha received a Lasell Bowl (the highest honor bestowed by Lasell College), and considers it a "defining moment" for her.
"I was really excited; it shows a sign of growth. I was a loudmouth freshman and sophomore year, and MSU was the road that helped me get noticed."
Yet as successful as she has become, Lakeisha says she's still has plans: in the future, she wants to be a Program Director in a social work environment.
We wish you Good Luck Lakeisha!
- By Emmalyn Anderson