by De’Kendrea Stamps
YWCA of Madison, Wisc.
I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to see the YWCA on a national level at the 2012 National Conference. While working every day in the field sometimes it becomes harder to conceptualize the big picture. Being able to network and share experiences with others allowed me the chance to understand how all of our individual efforts move the organization towards the common goal of empowering women and eliminating racism. Often when speaking with professionals in other fields it is hard for them to see how things as basic as housing, counseling, transportation, or childcare can have such a huge impact on societal outcomes, however being around others that share the same goals is very empowering.
Being able to share not only with young women in the organization, but also with those who have been at this work for decades was an honor. There was an ease of conversation with everyone I encountered. I have been in situations before where I may have been the youngest person in the room, the only woman or minority and felt like my voice was not considered, but during my time at the conference I never felt that way. For me, the greatest value-add from the conference was being able to hear stories and ask question about how this work has impacted your life and your ability to be deliberate about forging a career that is not only fulfilling, but also works to help others. That’s the kind of legacy I have always wanted to be associated with, the kind of legacy I work hard every day to do my part in upholding.
“To love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything be more fun?” – Katherine Graham
De’Kendrea Stamps has worked as the YW Transit Program Coordinator with the YWCA of Madison, Wisconsin, for more than two years. YW Transit provides 24 hour/7 day specialized transportation throughout Dane county to women, men and children for employment related, sexual assault prevention/domestic violence intervention, and contracted transportation purposes.
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