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Introducing "Ray of Light" Gerald Oliver

Gerald Oliver

1. Which of our three virtues do you identify with most and why?

It’s definitely Spirit of Service for me - I believe we are a lot more connected than we’d like to admit and I see serving others as a way to honor that connection. As we’ve been going through this Pandemic everything has been interrupted but I’ve been trying to figure out how I can go back to being of service. Prior to this I was a regular volunteer at DC Central Kitchen and that is something that I’ve done a lot on my own, it’s something I like to make time for.

2. Did you have a role model/ mentor that inspired you to do what you are doing?

My first time helping out at DC Central Kitchen was Summer of 2011. My friend who was born and raised in DC was highly involved with the organization and she invited me and a group of friends. We really enjoyed the experience and got a lot out of it so it felt natural to continue going back again and again. So although she wasn’t a direct mentor, as a friend she modeled a good example that I continued to follow.

3. What is the best advice you’ve received to date?

My father always says, “You have to know what your heart is telling you and not let others sway you from that.” I’ve gone against that calling at times and whenever I did I felt the crack, things would never go right. On the other side, when I’ve followed that voice unabashedly it’s taken me further.

4. How do you see/ understand your responsibility to your community?

My responsibility is to offer my gifts and talents back to my community. I am a Marketing and Communications professional so curating and analyzing the culture is something that I definitely list as a strength. I want to take that to the next level where I am not only curating but also incorporating data analysis to support business growth as well as legislation that will empower my community.

5. Ultimately, what does success look like to you?

Success for me is twofold, first having a clear goal and accomplishing it and also overcoming the many challenges that come with life.

Gerald Oliver is a digital native offering a fresh perspective on branding and creative direction, and marketing. Gerald earned his B.S. in Marketing from Hampton University (2013) and his M.S. in Public Relations & Corporate Communications from New York University (2015).

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