Victoria Gerdts—2014 Fellow
Year: Class of 2016
Major: Political Science, International Development Concentration
Organization: Latino Economic Development Center
The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) is a small, state-wide membership based nonprofit. The organization itself has three departments: Agriculture Development, Business Development, and a Workforce. I participated in the workforce department as Job Counselor. My main role as a Job Counselor was to provide resources, create resumes, and fill out applications for those seeking employment, internship opportunities, or scholarships. However, my main focus as a former Domestic Violence Advocate of Casa de Esperanza was to work with Casa’s participants, and provide the one-on-one attention they needed. The goal of my fellowship was to create a long-term job counselor position at LEDC for Casa de Esperanza participants, and better the relationship between the two organizations as dictated by a Memorandum of Understanding. As a result, LEDC and Casa de Esperanza will continue to build upon their partnership, and Casa de Esperanza will continue to refer participants to LEDC.
The first month of my fellowship I also participated in micro-entrepreneurship classes at LEDC, and at a partner organization “Mujeres en Accion” (Women in Action). These classes were extremely rewarding, and I enjoyed the relationships I developed with the students in the classes. In addition to my work at LEDC, I also participated in numerous networking events in the Twin Cities. Three of which were the MSW-Win Conference (which focused on racial unemployment gaps in the Twin Cities), the Metropolitan Job Conference (also focused on racial unemployment gaps in the Twin Cities), and the annual Golf Tournament for LEDC, which helped raise thousands for the scholarship fund. I had a wonderful experience at LEDC, and I would recommend participants in future cohorts to consider working with LEDC.