Fun Fact: Natashea loves to cook, but never follows recipes!
An alumna of City Year New York, Natashea's journey has brought her to the city of Boston, where she continues her studies. Read on to see how her idealism has helped propel her professional development.
City Year Boston (CYB): What first attracted you to City Year?
Natashea Winters (NW): In undergrad I studied philosophy, and I pretty much always knew wanted to do a year of service. In my junior year I grew frustrated with sitting and talking about service, and I wanted to get my hands dirty in that work. I was attracted to City Year because of its idealism and work with youth who were struggling.
CYB: Describe your transition from City Year to your current role?
NW: I’m currently in graduate school for social work [at Boston University], in a macro practice program--which is focused on policy, as opposed to clinical, [which is] working with families or individuals. I had the idea of wanting to do social work before City Year. But I left my experience with City Year feeling like I wanted to do something that was more preventative. A lot of the issues I saw [during my service with City Year New York] were things we created as a society. So if there was a way to get to the root of the problem and affect the problems on an institutional level and societal level, that was what I wanted to do with social work. My interest in public health came after City Year. I worked for a teen pregnancy prevention program and environmental nonprofit, and became fascinated with how environment can shape one’s health and a community’s perception of one’s health. So I applied to BU’s program, which is is unique because of the macro program and dual degree program.
CYB: How did City Year affect your decision to go into this course of study?
NW: Every Friday [during my corps year], we had professional development days, and I remember there once was a panel talking about what they did after City Year. One person [told] a fable about a man who saw people drowning in a river at the bottom of the mountain, and no matter what he does he can’t save enough people. So one day he decides to climb the mountain to see why this is happening, and tries to stop it. And something about that story stuck with me, I wanted to climb the mountain and see why this is happening. [...] That’s how I transitioned into macro social work and public health, which is very preventative in its basis and its approach.
CYB: What has been the most meaningful part of your studies?
NW: For me, what’s meaningful is that not only do I enjoy studying, but I’m going to walk away with this education and not just have letters at the end of my name, but have tangible tools to solve problems that are impacting lives.