Public Ally Spotlight: Kaleem Washington
January 26, 2017
By Brandon Johnson, Public Ally currently serving his 10-month AmeriCorps apprenticeship with Catalyst Miami
Kaleem was born and raised in Washington, D.C. He experienced racial and financial adversity early on that he channeled into his purpose in life. He naturally developed a sense of being a difference maker as he challenged narratives that were degrading. Prior to Public Allies, Kaleem had an extensive volunteer history with underprivileged youth centers that encouraged being a mentor and setting positive standards for minority youth. Kaleem knows how effective such tentative efforts can be firsthand because he grew up in a similar environment and was able to overcome those deficits.
Kaleem insists that providing similar opportunities to upcoming youth is a civil duty and he swears by an individual's ability to facilitate change. This has rolled over into his current role at Miami Children's Initiative where he works on the Career and College Mentoring and Development Program. Kaleem is tasked with professional development, connecting low-income Liberty-City residents with better life opportunities such as higher education and higher pay so that they can be sustainable in their lives. Kaleem hopes to continue the same body of work and break barriers for minority communities. He sees Public Allies as an avenue for learning catalyzing techniques for him to channel into uplifting deprived communities.