This month let’s get to know N Street Village volunteer Shivani Chatterjee. Shivani has been an active volunteer with us since April 2014. She is a versatile volunteer who spends her time serving the community as an overnight supervisor, residential assistant, breakfast server, Bingo caller at Miriam’s House, and teaches Bollywood dancing at the night shelter. Shivani has volunteered with various agencies in DC, but she didn’t feel like she was cultivating relationships or joining a community. Then, she found N Street Village, which was the answer to that missing piece. Now, she feels so good to be a part of such a great community of people. Let’s get know Shivani…
I work at the National Office of Communities in Schools (CIS), a nonprofit network that prevents students from dropping out of high school by surrounding them with a community of support. I believe that education is the best tool we have to address most problems of social inequality in this world. I find it very rewarding to be involved with N Street Village and the environment of love and empowerment that it fosters. I believe that you can learn something from everyone you meet, and I definitely learn a lot from the ladies at N Street Village. I love music and enjoy dancing, singing, playing piano, and experimenting on the drums. Staying active and healthy is important to me. For relaxation, I love to read or take a walk by the waterfront.
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the DC area? I was born in Louisiana, and grew up in Texas. I have been in D.C. for about 2.5 years.
What is your favorite D.C. restaurant? Vinoteca.
On a Saturday evening you will find me…Dancing with my friends.
What is the last movie you watched (and enjoyed)? The Kite Runner on Netflix.
What is your favorite D.C. landmark? I really love the Lincoln Memorial.
Where is the last place you traveled to? Denver, Colorado to see my cousin.
Describe N Street Village in 3 words or less. Safety, rejuvenation, family.
Share one of your favorite N Street Village memories?When one of the residents brought me a cupcake. I also loved when another resident made coffee for me after overnight shifts.
What has been one of your biggest surprises about N Street Village? The personalities of the ladies can be surprising and wonderful. As a volunteer, I realized that some ladies want to interact minimally, while others enjoy talking to you. So, I just come with an open smile and engage the ladies who reach out to me.