Meet Brina, Our New Avodah Staff Member!

Brina Chu is part of the AVODAH Service Corps, and has dedicated the next year of her life to working at Thrive DC for a small stipend. She is excited and eager to be a part of an organization that build a community for the people who need it most!

BrinaWhat made you interested in helping the homeless with employment specifically?

I recognize that unemployment is one of the largest issues facing our country today.

Employment provides resources to people aside from income, including a work ethic, a sense of purpose and feelings of self-worth.

Helping people gain access to employment is a direct way of helping them succeed, and of making an impact. I wanted to be a part of that process.

How did you hear about Thrive DC?

I was connected to Thrive DC through the Jewish Service Corps program that I am participating in, called Avodah.

I interviewed with multiple placements within the social justice field, but Thrive stood out to me as an environment I would love to work and grow in.

What makes Thrive DC different than other homeless programs?

Thrive DC fosters a strong sense of community. It is a warm, welcoming atmosphere that allows the clients to feel comfortable. I think something that is also unique about Thrive is their generosity.

By being so generous with their services and everything they provide to their clients, they empower clients by seeing them as human beings first and foremost, rather than just as low-income or homeless individuals whom they serve.

What is an awesome moment you’ve had at Thrive DC so far?

I love connecting to the clients in whatever way I can, whether it is joking around with them at the coffee station, directing them to the services they need, or working together to keep Thrive functioning when they volunteer to clean or help with other house keeping tasks that need to be completed.

What do you see as the biggest need among the people you work with?

A need I have noticed among clients is insecurity, whether that is regarding food, hygiene products, or other services that Thrive provides. People are concerned that they will always have a need that cannot be fulfilled, and need to be reassured that Thrive will be there to support them on a consistent basis.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about individuals not seeing each other through the lenses of socially constructed categories, situations, or systemic disparities. I want people to see each other as human beings who are all entitled to certain rights and liberties, and who share similar joys and challenges and should accept each other in light of their commonalities and differences.

What’s your favorite breakfast food?

Growing up, my mom traditionally served my family a Sunday breakfast of eggs and french fries, and though I don’t eat it as often now that I don’t live at home, I still have a sentimental attachment to it.

What’s a cool and interesting fact about yourself?

I recently discovered a love of biking. As fun as biking in NYC was (I had to dodge cars, tourists, and other bikes), I am looking forward to embarking on biking adventures in beautiful and scenic DC.