My name is Leishanna Lawrence. I was born in Kingston Jamaica. I moved to Brooklyn NY over 20 years ago. I have lived in Chicago IL, Orlando FL, and Sacramento CA, but Brooklyn has been my favorite place to live. I graduated from Pacific High School, an alternative high school in Brooklyn. The misconception is that alternative schools are for students who have behavioral issues, but that was not my case. I attended Boys and Girls High School before attending Pacific, but my decision to go to this smaller, more intimate school, where the teachers were able to focus on the students, turned out to be much better for me because I was a teen mother and I needed a school that was able to work with me.  While attending Pacific High School, I had the opportunity to intern at the NYC Department for the Aging. This internship helped me to obtain the position I currently hold as a Program Assistant at Blenman Senior Center in Brooklyn.

At this time, I am attending New York City College of Technology for a Degree in Human Services. I decided to pursue a degree in Human Services because I have been working in the field for the past nine years. I previously attended Medgar Evers College in Education, I then switched to Business, but as I continued to work with older adults I realized what I wanted to do. I have always had a passion to help others; I just didn’t know how I would do that.

Working in the Human Services profession has been very rewarding for me. Having the ability to show someone whose family is not around, that they are not alone is what excites me. This profession makes a difference in the lives of others, and for this reason I choose to be a Human Service Professional.

To be honest, I cannot say what my personal and professional strengths are that  will enhance my effectiveness for professional practice except to treat everyone, young or old equally along with being open minded and hopefully non-judgmental. I try my best to assist those who come to me for help. I have been through a lot in my life and I hope to use those trials and hardships to guide me in the way I treat others who are in my care. I was a teen mother who wished I had someone to encourage me, to listen to me and believe in me. This would have made a difference in how I saw the world and the people around me. Now I hope that my personal journey will help me to help others. Being empathetic and showing that i can understand what others are going through can have a major impact on the lives of others. As a Program Assistant at the I enjoy giving my time to older adults by listening to them and showing them someone cared.

Although I enjoy the older adult population, the population I would like to ultimately work with is teen moms. I was a teen mom who felt alone, unloved, and shunned. I know what it is like to feel that no one cares. I know how hard it is to be a teen mom with no support. I want to be that support for others. I hope to offer them counseling, along with plans set in place for them to finish school while being good parents. I want to provide them with ways to accomplish their goals and dreams. I would use my skills as a good listener,as someone who is non judgmental and open-minded, to provide or offer these teens a way to get a good start on life.  There are so many skills I have yet to master which I am not able to identify but my goal once again is just to have a positive impact.

It is hard for me to know where I will be in 10 years because 10 years ago I had hoped to have finished school by now. But the impact theory is that  I am still working on it. I do hope to have a business where I am helping teen moms. My ultimate vision is to open some kind of housing facility that offers all the resources these teens need to make them feel special and uplifted.  I expect that I will still continue to learn and expand the knowledge I have so that I can assist this population in changing the outcomes of their own lives as well as the lives of others. I hope my career touches the lives of many in a positive way. I want to be the person who believes in them along with offering them lots of encouragement. I know what it is to be young, scared, and unsure of where my life would end up. There are times I wish I had the support that I needed, but in the end I believe in me.

As I previously stated, I have been in the Human Service profession as a Program Assistant for over nine years. I am still unsure of what I don‚Äôt know, what I need to know and what I do know. I want to be that advocate for those in need. My goal is to help others, to give a listening ear, to offer much needed resources. This is why I have chosen this field. I hope to attain the skills I need to be the best ‚Äúme‚ÄĚ in order to assist others in becoming their best.