Meet Jameon Gray & Vanessa Davis!

vanessa davis

Thrive DC is proud and excited to welcome two of our newest staff members! Jameon is our Reentry Outreach Specialist, a new position at Thrive helping us engage returning citizens and let them know about our services. Vanessa is our new Volunteer and Community Resources Coordinator, helping people make an impact at Thrive by giving their time and resources to clients. She’s also in charge of our coat drive!

Below is a short introduction to them. Please reach out and give them a welcome email at [email protected] and [email protected]!

Tell us a little about yourself.

Vanessa: Greetings! My name is Vanessa Davis and I’m a new transplant to the DMV. I’m originally from Southern California, but I’ve been living in Washington DC for about six months now. This is only my second “real winter” – I’m excited to learn and experience the difference between life on the East Coast and the West Coast (aside from the weather).

Jameon: I’m dedicated to the service of change. What I mean is that I have a passion for helping others become the best version of themselves that they can envision themselves becoming.

What attracted you to Thrive?

Vanessa: All the many ways that Thrive gives back to the community.  I especially liked the breakfast program and how even through the Covid-19 epidemic, Thrive continued to meet and exceed clients’ needs.

Jameon: What attraced me to Thrive is the motto: “At the heart of a new start.” What I take from this as an employee at Thrive is that I’m in a position to user in a “new start” for the people we serve – I’m part of the process of creating that “new start.” My position allows me to meet clients where they are and service them heart to heart.

What do you like about your role here?

Vanessa: I like that I am able to meet people where they are and see the joy that comes to them when they volunteer.

Jameon: There’s a lot I enjoy. I like being in a position to impact others’ lives positively. I like being in a position to fulfill the needs of the people we serve no matter how great or small the need is. I’m excited to work with a team that’s likewise dedicated to service. I’m passionate about working with the reentry community and thrilled I get to do that here at Thrive.

What has been a powerful moment you’ve experienced since you started working here?

Vanessa: Already in my short time here, I’ve had a lot of memorable moments. One in particular was leading up to our annual coat drive. I went into the storage room and found a MOUNTAIN of coats and winter clothes. I was anxious about sorting through it on my own, but a group of student volunteers from American University stepped up and took on the room as a challenge – they separated and bagged all of the clothes, and made the room neat for when we added more coats and items for the drive.  It was great to see them working as a team to get the job done!

Jameon: For me, it was being able to mentor a client that’s currently in one of our reentry classes. I was able to talk with him about what his definition of a man was. I learned a lot about who he is as a person and from that I grew as a person myself.

What’s your favorite breakfast food?

Vanessa:  As I have become familiar with Washington DC, I have to say that my new favorite breakfast food is avocado toast and a hot cup of tea.

Jameon: My favorite breakfast food is salmon and eggs with fruit on the side.