A life-changing experience

As I tran­si­tion from SAALT, I want­ed to take a minute to do one final blog post as a SAALT Staff Mem­ber. I start­ed work­ing at SAALT in August 2007 right after I grad­u­at­ed from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land and have been here for almost 2 years as an Ameri­Corps VISTA (Vol­un­teers in Ser­vice to Amer­i­ca) mem­ber. Ameri­Corps VISTA is the anti-pover­ty arm of the Ameri­Corps pro­gram and I feel so lucky to have found this oppor­tu­ni­ty to put my under­grad­u­ate edu­ca­tion to use in a way that serves the com­mu­ni­ty.

Over the past few years, I have been priv­i­leged to work with so many indi­vid­u­als and orga­ni­za­tions in my capac­i­ty as the Fundrais­ing and Devel­op­ment Assis­tan on projects includ­ing work­shops, train­ings, local events, Be the Change, and the 2009 South Asian Sum­mit. In this time, I have not only learned about the South Asian com­mu­ni­ty but about the pas­sion­ate and inspir­ing indi­vid­u­als who work each and every day to build this com­mu­ni­ty. Work­ing with SAALT has been an unfor­get­table expe­ri­ence and one that I will con­tin­ue to digest as I tran­si­tion from SAALT.

One of my most mem­o­rable expe­ri­ences (among many) at SAALT was help­ing to plan the 2009 South Asian Sum­mit — a con­ven­ing of over 250 indi­vid­u­als from around the coun­try for a week­end of  work­shops, net­work­ing, and move­ment-build­ing. After months of plan­ning and por­ing over every detail of the event, to see it come togeth­er was incred­i­ble. I feel so for­tu­nate to have been part of this expe­ri­ence and to have played a part in putting togeth­er an event that is hope­ful­ly a cat­a­lyst for mov­ing our com­mu­ni­ty for­ward. At the Sum­mit, I met so many peo­ple who had pre­vi­ous­ly been names on a paper, email address­es, or pic­tures on a web­site. To have con­nect­ed with these amaz­ing peo­ple was inspir­ing beyond belief.

I am com­mit­ted to stay­ing engaged in this community,the non-prof­it sec­tor, and the social jus­tice move­ment.

I would like to thank every­one who I have worked with over the past 2 years at SAALT for help­ing me to grow both per­son­al­ly and pro­fes­sion­al­ly. This has tru­ly been a life-chang­ing expe­ri­ence.