1. Let's say you and your 4-year-old son live in Los Angeles.

You enjoy your life there. Your friends; your family; the balmy, sunny weather; how you meet people of all shades, sexual orientations, and genders. There is no judgment. Difference is normal.

The only thing your graduate degree prepared you to be is a college professor. But competition for jobs is fierce in Los Angeles, so you apply for five professorships around the country. After three rounds of interviews, you are offered an assistant professorship in a faraway Midwestern town that is, you learn after a quick internet search, not nearly as diverse as L.A. But you say yes to the job.

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Shkoryah Carthen has spent half of her life working in the service industry. While the 32-year old restaurant worker quickly sensed that Covid-19 would bring real change to her daily life, Carthen hardly knew just how strongly it would impact her livelihood.

"The biggest challenge for me during this time, honestly is just to stay afloat," Carthen said.

Upon learning the Dallas restaurant she worked for would close indefinitely, Carthen feared its doors may never reopen.

Soon after, Carthen learned that The Wilkinson Center was desperately looking for workers to create and distribute meals for those in need in their community. The next day, Carthen was at the food pantry restocking shelves and creating relief boxes filled with essentials like canned foods, baby formula and cleaning products. In addition to feeding families throughout the area, this work ensured Carthen the opportunity to provide food for her own.

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