My name is Ian Walker and I am privileged to be placed at Care for the Homeless as part of my service with Public Allies. I am assisting homeless individuals and families of New York City with coordinating their health. Care for the Homeless fights homelessness by delivering high-quality and client-centered healthcare, human services and shelter to homeless individuals and families. These are people overlooked by the majority. People who have to deal with multiple life stressors while trying to navigate through the various barriers set before them and maintain their health. Prior to Public Allies, I obtained my Bachelors in Social Welfare at the University of Albany. Throughout my time there I never had an actual grasp of who I was or what I wanted to do in life. I figured out in high school that I wanted to help people, but it wasn't something that I fully developed. Then, while at Albany I was introduced to the Poverty Simulation. I knew what poverty was and I'm sure if I was honest with myself I could say my family is pretty close to poverty. The simulation opened my eyes to the systems that affect the lives of people in poverty; it showed how disconnected individuals are from the collective and the impact resources can have on a community when there is a relationship developed. Along with my classmates we started a student group called Bridging the Gap. The purpose was to connect the community and the school to the resources that surround them. Although the group had success in many ways, I knew there was something missing. I needed to develop as a person and as a leader. My fire was lit but I wanted it to grow. Leaving Albany I began to gain interest in community organizing. I wanted to be the person to make connections within communities and implement ideas that would be responsible for positive progress. Those feelings led me to Public Allies. For the next 10 months Public Allies will be my second home – an opportunity for me to explore the possibilities, to step outside of my comfort zone and to become the leader I am supposed to be. I am on a journey within myself; one that will hopefully lead to courage, strength, possibility and enlightenment. My Mission is to improve the quality of life for those who are currently below or at the poverty line, and change how poverty is viewed by society.