Angel Rickerson began her journey with the Mel King Institute as a LISC AmeriCorps member, working as a financial and housing opportunities coach. She eagerly embraced a variety of trainings, networking events, and programs, including the "Power to the People" initiative which deeply resonated with her. As Rickerson immersed herself in her learning experiences at the institute, she realized how strongly the courses aligned with the organization's core values. This critical moment marked a turning point in her professional development and set the stage for future pursuits.
For Angel, Community development holds significant importance as it shapes our present and future lives. She discussed how, as members of society, our individual stories and experiences contribute to the bigger picture. "Community development is about learning the world, building the world, creating opportunities, and constructing our homes," she explained.
Bridging the gap in her community and helping others has always been her primary motivation. Drawing on personal experiences and actively participating in the community fosters change, leading to growth and development for both individuals and the community as a whole. She also expressed her aspiration to be more engaged with her neighbors, building relationships with them, and providing access to resources. She emphasized the importance of reciprocation, stating, "If you offer resources and have a plan for something to work, it must be utilized and go through the cycle; otherwise, it will stagnate."
When asked about her background and how it prepared her for this role, Angle proudly mentioned being from a West Indian family from Trinidad and Tobago, with hardworking parents striving to provide the best for their children. This upbringing helped her view community development from a unique perspective. Additionally, being a single parent facing daily challenges has made her more equipped to address community development difficulties.
Angel was eager to highlight the proudest moment in her career - becoming a member of LISC AmeriCorps. She discussed how this opportunity broadened her horizons in various ways and enhanced her exposure to diverse experiences. Working with LISC AmeriCorps and the Mel King Institute has allowed Angel to gain valuable perspective, further propelling her career as a community developer.