Once there was a young lady who was pregnant. She did not know where to receive prenatal care, and had no transportation to get to the doctor. She had no clue about getting what she needed to bring a healthy baby into this world. One day a community health worker came into her life offering support. The assistance she received from the health worker relieved a tremendous amount of stress for her. Most importantly, the beautiful baby grew up healthy, graduated at the top of her class, and went on to get her masters degree at an early age.
I am that young lady. I was born, raised, and currently live in Detroit. I attribute a great part of my success as a parent to the community health worker that came into my life. My passion for this work runs deep because of my own experiences. It is a blessing to be a Community Health Worker in the Detroit area.
Healthy pregnancies and healthy babies create healthy neighborhoods. Healthy neighborhoods create healthy communities, and healthy communities produce a healthy nation.
I still remember when the riots were going on in Detroit. Etched in my mind are the big tanks coming down the streets, the soldiers and everything was on fire. I was a little girl, and I was so scared.
My mother took me in her arms, began to hum a tune of her own, and the rocking motion was just so comforting. After a while, she simply said, “Rest your mind. They are not here to hurt you. They are here to help.”
As I grew, I watched her helping others: our church, our family, our neighbors. I realized early on you have to have a big heart and a lot of love to want to help people in that way.
Once I was grown and on my own, at times it was me who needed help from my community. In these rough times, I felt the lack of compassion of those offering me help. And that’s what really pushed me to get myself together.
I want to give back to my community, like my mother did, as someone that will be there when times are rough, and even when they get better. As a Community Health Worker I work hard to put the compassion and drive back into helping people. Because I have a big heart and a lot of love, and all I need are more opportunities to give.
Born and raised in Detroit, my family always supported our community. Together we helped our neighbors in whichever way we could, through clean-up, food, support, and transportation. My Father was a founder and active member within the American GI Form in Southwest Detroit back in the 1970’s. My call to serve the community came when I was in the Summer Youth Work Program at Latino Family Services. I didn’t want to be there at first, but this was a blessing in disguise. Here I met Angie Reyes. She was the Youth Director, and a well-known advocate in Detroit.
Through her, I learned about other community resources, outreach, and advocacy. During my time with the Summer Youth Work Programs I also became more involved with projects throughout the City of Detroit, and this encouraged me to become more involved, and active within my community again (I was a baby when my father was active in the community and passed away in 1978 ). The reason I enjoy being a Community Health Worker is because it is a way I can give back to others the tools that were given to me, and to connect people to resources to become successful.
I found a love for the Osborn neighborhood as a child attending Fleming Elementary. It was only right for me to get involved in the community that I grew fond of.
Living in the city of Detroit gives me a sense of pride. This is why I got involved with community organizations I can personally engage and encourage residents to do more for the city by promoting positive educational and beautification projects.
My whole family is rooted in community work. Whether it was volunteering in cleanups, patrolling, or joining the neighborhood block club, we continuously find different avenues to help others.
But there is still more work to do! My true passion and my duty is to help women. It’s hard enough to raise a family. But it can be a struggle to have to do it alone with a lack of help or resources. It’s time for change!
Being a part of WIN Network: Detroit, I have the opportunity to personally contribute to change. I empower women; I help them build a sisterhood and their own support network. I love being a Community Health Worker! I feel like a bridge that brings others to the road of their success. If the change starts with the women, and the home, then women in the community will come together, and so will the city.