I have lived in New York for many years. It is the place I consider home. A few years ago, I was a part of a music band that played at different venues on a regular basis. After Superstorm Sandy hit, we were invited to play at Hofstra University for a Sandy relief concert. This was the day I first heard about Next Step. The band I was apart of at the time was invited to lead worship in New York for an entire summer, through the Next Step internship program. After serving one summer in New York, it opened my eyes to see what all I could be doing to serve and help my own community. People have always asked: why not pick another community to invest in for your whole summer? For some reason, I was always led to stay and serve in my own community. The passion for serving my own neighbors and city was ignited in this journey.


I now serve as the full-time Partnership Coordinator in New York. My role is to simply be available. I seek to blend in and be one with the community. I try to see where the need is through the eyes of someone that has been living in the community for their entire life. My desire is to plug into the places and with the organizations that have been trying to bring change and transformation to New York for many years and are committed to it on a day in, day out basis. This process of partnership has allowed me to love on the community even more. New Yorkers are known to be tough. Sandy has allowed many people in the community to open up a little bit more and simply ask for help when needed. New Yorkers love to help, but when it comes to themselves they would much rather get through tough circumstances on their own. This is one of the coolest areas of transformation I have observed in the homeowners we have gotten the chance to work alongside: people are willing to give and receive help humbly. It feels like a community again, and this is something I am simply humbled to be a part of.

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