Volunteer Spotlight: DeAndrea
For many military veterans, leaving active duty service and transitioning into the civilian workforce is unlike any other career experience they’ve encountered. There are not only changes in the day-to-day job responsibilities, but also the culture, colleague interactions and work-life balance. Finding a mentor who has been down that road before adds a special connection for many Hire Heroes USA clients, which is exactly why volunteer DeAndrea Dorsey is so passionate about the work she does.
“I put myself in their shoes always by first letting them understand that I have been on the same journey. [I’m also] open to sharing with them where I started and where I’m at now,” said DeAndrea, an Air Force veteran who transitioned in 2012.
In early 2020, DeAndrea was exploring ways that she could give back to fellow service members and ran into a social media post that referenced Hire Heroes USA. “This was the first time I had heard of [Hire Heroes USA], so I went onto the site, read about the organization, and I decided that this was the organization for me. The rest is history.”
Since starting as a volunteer more than two years ago, DeAndrea has committed over 27 hours to working with service members, veterans and military spouses. Of her most memorable client conversations, she recalls a military spouse who was ready to pivot into the tech industry.
“It was such a wonderful interaction where I felt that her career journey mirrored mine 100%,” explained DeAndrea. “We were able to truly focus and hone in on her skills showcasing that she was well beyond prepared to enter tech. After our session, she sent me an email the next day thanking me for taking the time to assist her and informing me that my advice prepared her to apply for a new role.”
DeAndrea has been a champion of the military community for many years and offers advice to other civilians and employers to better understand the breadth of experience veterans and military spouses can bring to the workplace.
“I encourage others by ensuring that they understand the military community consists of a diverse group of individuals who all come from a heritage enriched with values that can be transformative to any organization,” she said.
In the years to come, DeAndrea plans to continue building these relationships and paying it forward to those families who have served. “This has been such an amazing experience and I feel honored to have been given the opportunity to assist my fellow members of the military community.”
If you would like to make a difference in the lives of veterans and military spouses, please click here to learn more about volunteering with Hire Heroes USA.