When Gabriella Badji graduated from Trinity Washington University in May, she started looking for opportunities to give back to the community as she figured out her next steps. Soon after, she heard Mary’s Center was looking for volunteers for an upcoming event and she immediately signed up.
Gabriella first became involved with Mary’s Center as a participant four years ago when she started college. As a Fort Totten resident, she was grateful that Mary’s Center was easily accessible, and that she could rely on our quality medical and dental services as she worked toward her undergraduate degree.
“To me, Mary’s Center is much more than just a doctor’s office,” said Gabriella. “There are so many resources for the community to connect with and it’s been so helpful during the pandemic. I am really inspired by Mary Center’s mission and the staff are so welcoming, it makes me want to keep coming back for more.”
In her first volunteer experience with Mary’s Center last month, Gabriella prepared bags of fresh produce to distribute at the 10th anniversary celebration of our Adelphi, MD clinic. Working alongside Mary’s Center staff, she helped us pack over 200 bags for Prince George’s County families coming to the event.
“When I first arrived to pack the bags, it was a bit intimidating because there was so much food to organize,” said Gabriella. “It seemed impossible that we would get it all sorted. But we worked in teams and actually got it done pretty quickly. It was impressive to see our work pay off like that.”
After seeing the impact she had that day, Gabriella is now looking forward to the prospect of volunteering for Mary’s Center’s Thanksgiving food and holiday toy drives later this year. And by that time, she may be involved in Mary’s Center in a whole new way.
Gabriella wants to go to medical school in a couple years, and in the meantime, she is looking to gain experience as a medical assistant. While volunteering last month, she was excited to learn about the Medical Assistant Program offered by Briya Public Charter School, Mary’s Center’s partner in education.
“It was so fitting because I was talking to everyone about my plans, and they suggested I look into Mary’s Center’s program. Since I’m already a part of the Mary’s Center community, I figured, ‘why not?’” Gabriella looks forward to applying later this summer as she pursues her childhood dream of becoming a doctor.
Mary’s Center is inspired by Gabriella’s commitment to giving back to Mary’s Center and our community. Please stay tuned for additional information about future volunteer opportunities.