There’s a simple reason why Latoya Bingham has worked here for five years: she fell in love with Mercy Home.
Latoya joined the Mercy Home family as a MercyWorker in 2014, after hearing about the program at a job fair at her school. She fell in love with the MercyWorks program, too.
“I immediately fell in love with this idea of community, working for an agency that really focused on youth that really needed people to support them, especially in the Chicagoland area, and I really didn’t know what I wanted to do after undergrad so I felt like it was a great starting point,” she said.
Latoya worked as a care manager in the AfterCare department during her year of service and knew that she wanted to pursue a career in social work.
“I felt like I grew so much professionally during that year,” she said. “I learned a lot of what it looks like [to work] in the social work field and it solidified my passion more.”
The year with MercyWorks not only solidified Latoya’s passion for social work, it also allowed her to explore each of MercyWorks’ core values, particularly spirituality. She and the other MercyWorkers visited churches around the city and met with Manager of Spiritual Development Marc Velasquez to grow spiritually.
“I learned how to live with other cultures, people from different walks of life, I was challenged, and those challenges truly did help me understand how beautifully unique the world is,” she said.
“And that year changed my life because I was able to truly discover who I was as a person and where I stood at the time … and that solidified where my passion was and how I wanted to go about obtaining that.”
She also knew she wanted to stay at Mercy Home long-term, so she took a job as a youth care worker in Seton Home for three years. That time was full of learning experiences, including how to work as a team and use different ideas to support the kids here. During this time, she also enrolled in college to receive her master’s degree in social work.