Our Student Ambassador reflects on her service work
Deaira Lloyd is a double major studying Anthropology and Sociology and will be receiving her Certificate in the Social Dimensions of Health. She is in the BA/MA program of Applied Sociology and will be graduating this spring.
Prior to joining Retriever Essentials, Fariha, the Program Coordinator/CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA, invited me to join the team as a Student Ambassador. Interestingly, around that time, I wanted to become more involved on campus and was reading about various organizations at UMBC. I felt that her initiation was my calling.
I was not aware of the duties of the role, the term “food insecurity”, or the number of students at UMBC that suffered from it. After our first meeting last fall, I was intrigued to learn about the term and what I could do to eliminate it throughout college students’ experiences.
My role as a Student Ambassador, PRAC Leader, and Food Pantry Manager has awakened me to the little things that add up to a life changing outcome. Initiatives such as the save-a-swipe program, donating non-perishable food items, and the volunteers transporting goods to numerous food zones has taught me the importance of working together to support a greater cause. It’s crucial that students who suffer from food insecurity are able to have a sense of belonging on campus, especially to a group that acknowledges and supports them.
Retriever Essentials has taught me that you can always help someone. Sharing a message, a canned good, time, support, anything, is worthy. This experience has made me perceive life more delicately as I witness students coming into the pantry creating their own food bag. You truly never know the struggles that someone is experiencing, and how your service helps them by simply being there. Being able to support a community of students who are in need of nutrition and other necessities is a very gracious, thoughtful, and moving feeling. I’m excited for the continuous expansion and purpose of Retriever Essentials, and I’m thankful for this humbling experience.