Employment, Education, Housing, and More: Ambassador Volunteer Program Helps Southwest Baltimore Adults Achieve Their Goals

March 13th, 2019
Thalia in Paul's Place's computer lab

Thalia is a Paul’s Place cheerleader! She will tell anyone who listens about the valuable resources available to individuals and families and about how Paul’s Place will help you become a better person.

When you meet Thalia, you can’t help but smile at her enthusiasm. She is brimming with energy and is quick to tell anyone who will listen how much she loves Paul’s Place.

From the moment she walked through our doors, Thalia loved the friendly and judgement-free atmosphere at Paul’s Place. She first came with her husband for a meal and free clothing — and she was surprised to find all of the resources available.

“Whatever you need, Paul’s Place gets it for you,” she remarked in awe of all the ways Paul’s Place could help her family. Thalia returned to Paul’s Place again and again, and last November, she joined our Ambassador Volunteer Program.

The Ambassador Volunteer Program is a structured volunteer program for adults living in Southwest Baltimore; the program promotes personal growth through leadership development, goal-setting, and self-advocacy. Each Ambassador sets personal goals and works with one of our case managers to develop a plan for meeting those goals. The goals might include finding employment, going back to school, developing new skills, or getting housing.

Ambassadors provide essential volunteer support for all of Paul’s Place’s programs, run the morning meeting for all volunteers, and help orient daily volunteers. These roles and regular workshops give Ambassadors opportunities to develop new skills and learn about leadership. Thalia loves the morning meeting – where volunteers introduce themselves and get acquainted with their tasks for the day – because the positive energy of the meeting gets everyone ready to serve with a smile.

Thalia’s first goal was to get a job, but she needed some additional training before she could move forward. She started in the Paul’s Place computer lab where she learned new computer skills and how to navigate online job searches; she also got help with her job applications. She practiced interviewing with her case manager until she was confident.

The work paid off: Thalia started a job on the custodial team at the airport the second week of January — a job that provides her with health and dental benefits as well as paid vacation days!

The job means a lot to Thalia’s financial stability and her selfconfidence, and it means she can start working toward her second goal, one that reflects her love of her family. She wants to save enough to surprise her husband of 21 years with a trip to Texas to meet the five grandkids he’s never met before they get too old to travel comfortably.

Thalia is a Paul’s Place cheerleader! She will tell anyone who listens about the valuable resources available to individuals and families and about how Paul’s Place will help you become a better person. As Thalia says, “Paul’s Place will help you grow.” We look forward to seeing how Thalia continues to grow in our Ambassador program!