Ever since she was a young child, Maggie remembers paying attention to the news and then going to the family atlas to look up the areas of the world that were referenced. A lifelong interest in geopolitical issues and the movement of people led her to a new position at MCC Refugee Services as the Team Manager of our Case Management team.
Maggie grew up in New England and studied political science and community development at the University of Vermont in Burlington, VT. She had hopes of working in international relations, possibly with the United Nations, but during college she started to volunteer with an organization serving the Somali and Burundian communities. This exposure showed her that she could do very international work even in the US, and she began working full-time during the summers with a program serving refugee youth. The refugees she encountered had not received much integration support since arriving in the US and she found herself helping with housing applications, childcare applications, and other social services supports, simply because she was a person the families knew and felt comfortable approaching for assistance.
Maggie knew that she wanted more knowledge of how to navigate the social service system and better tailor it to the communities it intended to support, so she pursued a Masters of Social Work degree at Salem State University in Massachusetts. During and after her Masters, she worked in community health and mental health, with a wide range of people that included some refugees, but many other backgrounds as well. She maintained her connection to refugee communities through connecting with churches that were co-sponsoring families, when that opportunity arose. After a few years working in health and mental health treatment, she decided to move to the Twin Cities, feeling drawn by the refugee communities, the vibrant arts and culture scene, recreational opportunities in the city and beyond, and the chance to be closer to her parents, who now live in Mankato.
As the Case Management Team Manager, Maggie will work directly with new arrivals in our reception and placement program, as well as refugees in our extended social support programs. She will also carry responsibility for overseeing the team and she is excited for a balance of direct service and working to support and supervise the other case managers.
When she’s not working, Maggie loves food, whether it’s growing vegetables, baking and cooking, or reading about food and community. For her, food is a way to practice hospitality, and making others feel welcome and relaxed is a passion for her at work and at home. She also loves to try new flavors, travel to new places, and be outside. She shared about how her family connects regularly over Skype, where they talk about the ways in which their different careers in social service/nonprofits, civil engineering education, and public defense law all have the goal of expanding access to justice and making spaces more accessible for people who might be excluded… and, of course, there’s some baseball talk as well.