A Light for Change
Dayshalee Rosario Cruz ’20 provides a light in the dark for families finding themselves in times of hardship.
Cruz, who traveled abroad three times during her time at LVC, decided it was time to find a place to grow her roots after her final trip abroad in the fall semester of her senior year. Inspired by her passion for serving others and her mother’s past experiences, Cruz accepted a full-time position at the Lebanon County Housing Authority as a client services representative.
As a representative, Cruz is responsible for performing annual recertifications and intake interviews for those applying to the program. Such tasks may include adjusting rent based on a family’s income and size.
“I love that I can serve my community with such a wonderful staff,” said Cruz, who first started with the agency as a receptionist the summer before her senior year. “Where my mother once received housing assistance, I am now able to help others who face similar hardships.”
Due to her commitment to community service while at LVC, Cruz eased right into her position with a sense of passion, confidence, and understanding. She recalled her experience interning with Power Packs Lebanon to be a beneficial experience.
“I interned with Power Packs Lebanon for a year, where I learned what goes on behind the scenes of a service project,” said Cruz. “I recently took charge of a project to deliver groceries to our elderly residents and was confident because I had all the required skills thanks to my time working with Power Packs Lebanon.”
In addition to her internship experiences, Cruz continues to draw her core beliefs from the courses she took at LVC. As a global studies major, Cruz understands the importance of discussion and being aware of current world issues, which has improved her ability to communicate with her coworkers.
“I am one of two recent college graduates working with the authority,” said Cruz, who also majored in Spanish. “I often find myself taking part in elaborate discussions with my coworkers who are a part of an older generation. LVC has greatly increased my ability to participate in these conversations that hint at topics such as politics, abortion legislation, racial issues, and more.”
This past fall, Cruz virtually returned to LVC to participate in a World Hunger Day program with fellow LVC alumni Jen Liedtka ’92, M’00, coordinator of service and volunteerism at the College, and Shila Ulrich ’05, executive director of The Caring Cupboard in Palmyra, Pa. The trio discussed food insecurity and their work to combat the issue, especially during the ongoing pandemic.
“That was extraordinary and inspired me to talk to people about service, the job I do, and community development,” said Cruz. “There is so much that I understand and hold close to my heart that I thought everyone else felt the same way about. I thought it was common knowledge, but now I know I need to educate and inspire others.”
-- Parker Gallagher, Marketing & Communications Student Assistant