This month we would like to introduce you to N Street Village staff member Molly Chamberlain. Molly is working as a Program Assistant/Interim Crisis Care Specialist in Bethany Women’s Center as part of her Loretto Volunteer Corps service year. She is a graduate of Siena College where she earned a degree in Social Work. During her undergraduate career Molly was a member of the Division I Water Polo and Swimming teams. Originally from Pennsylvania, Molly spends her time outside work volunteering with the Human Rights Campaign, cooking with her roommates, and exploring D.C.
NSV: Why did you decide to work at N Street Village?
MC: I came to N Street Village through the Loretto Volunteer Corps. I thought that a year of service would be the perfect middle ground between going to graduate school and going straight into the “real world.” I picked the Village over other non-profits because of the opportunity to do direct service. In college I completed a practicum working with high school students with substance abuse issues; I wanted to see if direct service was going to be my calling.
NSV: What do you do on a daily basis at N Street Village?
MC: My official title is Program Assistant of Bethany Women’s Center. Besides that I also coordinate the monthly activity calendar and serve as the interim Crisis Care Specialist. I am on my feet a lot, which I like; I’ve never been a desk job person. I am responsible for making sure the day center runs smoothly which can include setting up for meals, attending to any of our clients’ material or emotional needs, and resolving any conflicts.
NSV: Describe working at N Street Village in three words or less.
MC: Love. Healing. Laughter.
NSV: What do you enjoy most about the culture of N Street Village?
MC: “Be glad there is one place in the world where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came.” Going to work is a lot like attending Thanksgiving dinner. All the members of your family are there; maybe they’ve brought some new faces with them this time around. Everyone checks in on one another throughout the day, catching up on each other’s lives. After the meal there is some occasional napping. And there is always delicious food around. It’s a lovely place to work.
NSV: What story about a woman who has used our services has stuck with you most?
MC: My favorite story is about a client who is now an alumna of the program. She stopped by to visit one day and told me her story. Before she gained entry to our housing programs she walked from Silver Spring, Maryland all the way down to Bethany Women’s Center and back each day. Since coming to N Street Village she has maintained her sobriety and started working in social services. I love her story because of her strength and perseverance; she was capable of making changes, N Street Village just gave her the little push that she needed.
NSV: Where are you originally from? What do you miss most about your hometown?
MC: I am originally from Kingston, Pennsylvania (20 minutes from Scranton, for you “The Office” fans). Honestly, I miss my family. I have not gotten to go home much since I started college and I wish I got to see them more often. Family aside, I miss the chocolate milk! Hillside Farms has the best chocolate milk in the world.
NSV: What drives you? What are you inspired by?
MC: The desire to do things right and efficiently. Since a very young age I’ve been an athlete and that culture is hard to get away from, even after you play your last game. I want to be the best at everything I do. I know the world doesn’t always work that way, but I cannot help it! My brain is wired to think that way.