Lareese Cathey, a second-year student at Chesapeake College, works actively on campus and in her community to improve the lives of local families. As a leader of Chesapeake College's TRiO program, she helps create leadership opportunities and cross-cultural experiences for first-generation college students. In her community, she mentors at-risk youth, and she organized a campaign to establish a free library for the approximately eighty children of Grasonville, MD. Partnering with the elementary school and local Housing Authority, Lareese collected 6,000 books and over $3,000.00. She was also appointed by the Queen Anne's County Commissioners to serve as a Commissioner of the Queen Anne's County Housing Authority Board. In this capacity, she ensures funding is being dispersed properly and policies are being followed and updated. Because she is a campus leader, at-risk youth mentor, political leader, community activist, and aspiring social worker, I nominate Lareese Cathey for the Newman Civic Fellowship.
I am a single mother of two children ages 9 and 14 and I am currently receiving government assistance and working as a work study for the TRiO program at Chesapeake College to help support my family while I finish college. I am very active in my community as a youth mentor for at risk youth. In 2014, I partnered with the Grasonville Elementary School in Queen Anne County and the Housing Authority of Queen Anne County to share my dream of putting a Little Free library in a vacant room in my community. To accomplish this task, I had to form a committee to help me make the library a success. My committee has four single mothers who brought all their creativity and a mind set to make our community a better place. On July 18 2014, we had the Grand Opening of Fisher Manor Little Free Library, and my small dream to create a safe, learning atmosphere for over 80 children in the Grasonville Community was reality.
Despite all my financial shortcomings, I have a heart to help people succeed and know that change starts from within. My career goal is to create a program for at risk youth, adjudicated youth, children in need of assistance, respite care and children in the foster care system on the Delmarva Peninsula. Toward that end, I attended the 8th Annual Mentoring Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico and TRiO Leadership Conference in Annapolis Maryland. I also volunteer in my local community to keep abreast of the needs of my community and try to apply my current studies in real ways with training that I have received as local housing commissioner. I believe my life experiences and educational training will allow me to have the compassion, understanding and empathy for others whose lives are in chaos, especially youth.