Did you know that Urban Alliance (UA) does street Outreach every week in the three core neighborhoods of Kalamazoo? Neither did WMed medical student, Letty Thottathil. Letty found herself at UA as part of her Active Citizenship Program at WMed. The program is designed to better connect future doctors with the public they hope to serve, in a non-medical context. Like Urban Alliance, Letty is deeply committed to giving people a 2ndchance (and a third, and a fourth….) and was eager to learn what UA is all about.
Letty first volunteered to help decorate for our annual Thanksgiving Dinner, and then came and served at the meal itself. Her reaction? “I couldn’t believe how many volunteers were there!” The experience motivated her to try out weekly Outreach, and she’s become a fixture there. Director of Outreach, Esto Juarez, says of WMed volunteers, ‘They’re awesome. They’re so faithful! We need to do a story on them.’
Connecting with our friends on a personal level has impacted Letty greatly. While she continues to serve with the Urban Outreach Initiative team, her next experience at Urban Alliance will likely come as a Coach in our Momentum Urban Employment Initiative programming. We’re so excited that Letty is a part of our family and we can’t wait to see what’s next with her.