I ended up putting off my giving today until late tonight. I traveled back from Pennsylvania, went to my theatre rehearsal, and then made it downtown to my place and unloaded my car with my bags and Christmas gifts. I dumped everything just inside the door and then grabbed my little notebook and $10 and went out to find somebody at about 10:30 pm.
When it’s late, I prefer to find people inside or near well-lit areas; otherwise people are often reluctant to talk. I decided to head over to Kramerbooks. It’s open late, it is an excellent place, and I thought I would find someone interesting there. I meandered through the book-lined labyrinth inside but did not find anyone that I really felt like approaching. Then I spotted a woman outside peering through the front window.
Jenny, a 26 year-old recent masters recipient in the area of public health, was waiting for the 42 bus. She was inquisitive about what I was doing, however, agreed to participate rather quickly. I gave her the $10 and asked her what she planned to do with it. She said that all her money was earmarked for bills, rent, etc. She had about $13 of spending money to her name. Now she had $23. She said she would initially hold on to the money until Wednesday when she started a waitressing job. She needs to have a “bank” of $30 in cash to make change. Once she gets some money from the job, she said she would use the money to add to her Metro card to help her get to/from work.
Her professional goal is to find a job in global public health. Maybe something with USAID, etc. Those jobs are hard to come by according to her. I think she has a good shot though, as she has a solid education and already done work in Africa in the public health field. So if anyone out there can help Jenny out or give her some tips on getting a job in this field, leave a comment, I know she would appreciate it.
As we started to depart, I asked her to check out the blog and keep us posted on how her new job goes as well as her job search for a career in global public health.