Employee Spotlight: Lakisha's Story
Lakisha (Kisha), a United States Army veteran, works for Volunteers of America Michigan (VOAMI) in Battle Creek as a Healthcare Navigator for other veterans.
Recently retired from the US Army after 24 years of service, Lakisha is new to the VOAMI family. She moved to Battle Creek, MI because her husband, an active-duty O-6 Colonel in the US Army, is stationed there. She states, “The fact that Volunteers of America serves veterans, being a veteran myself, I thought (this) was a great opportunity for me. Whether you are army, navy, marine, or coast guard, it doesn’t matter. There is so much out there…a multitude of community partners that all come together to make sure veterans are taken care of. I didn’t really realize that until I got here to VOAMI to see how impactful we can be and support the veterans. This is my first exposure to how well a community can come together to support the heroes of this great nation.”
In her role as a healthcare navigator, Lakisha assists veterans in obtaining healthcare, finding mental health services, and educating them about their Social Security benefits. She’s also able to coordinate with the Veteran’s Food Security Project to help distribute food to homeless veterans across western Michigan from Muskegon to Van Buren.
Lakisha decided to join the service in 1996. During her time in college, Kisha joined the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. It was there she learned that the first Black female officer was also a member of her sorority and was inspired to serve and move forward with her degree.
“That was my first inclination to how impactful African Americans are to the military. I was impacted by the leadership of the officers, the young Black officers that came before me. That was the kind of motivational factor for me to join and to continue in the rich history that she set forth.”
She spent her first six and a half years as a motor transport operator, then decided to go to college through a green and gold program the army offered. She graduated with a commission as Second Lieutenant and was deployed for four more years as a transportation officer, then a multifunctional logistics officer. After graduating college, Kisha dedicated another 10+ years of service to the army and retired in October 2020 as an O-4 Major in the position of a Sexual Assault Program Manager.
Volunteers of America Michigan is extremely proud to have Lakisha on our team and of the difference she’s making in the lives of other veterans every day. Today, Lakisha is focused on giving back to other veterans and raising her children. “It’s an honor…there were a lot of veterans that came before me that paved the way for me to be able to stay in the ranks and do what I did,” says Kisha. “So, giving back to my fellow brothers and sisters of the US armed forces is a satisfying job for me. I’ve always been into outreach, helping others, and this was just another avenue to be able to continue to serve the veterans who I served with and the veterans who came before me.”
Volunteers of America Michigan have been working with our nation’s veterans since World War 1. We are proud to be one of the largest private providers in the state. If you or a loved one needs veteran services, please contact the toll-free statewide veteran services line by calling (877)-509-VETS.