Staff Feature: The Dynamic Duo at the MARJ & MAK Vocational Center

Meet Chaquita Goode and Matthew LaBorde, the team behind one of the Village’s newest programs, the MARJ & MAK Vocational Center.

The Vocational Center provides drop-in classes as well as one-on-one trainings to support women in reaching their goals related to education, employment, benefits, income, and/or financial health.

Can you describe N Street Village in three words? Colorful, welcoming, and uplifting. The Village has a way of making people feel good and wanting to come back.

What has been one of your favorite Village moments since you started? We have a “Volunteer Corps” of clients/residents who volunteer. It’s amazing to see women, who are experiencing a wide variety of personal traumas and setbacks, share their free time to give back to the community.

What is one of the biggest challenges you encounter in your daily job? It can be hard to come to grips
with the realization that many clients have been abandoned by their community, their family, and their friends. It makes the time I spend with clients to gain their trust and work with them toward their goals that much more meaningful.

Why does having an organization like N Street Village matter to a city like D.C.? Many of our marginalized communities are seeking welcoming spaces that aren’t over-policed, stigmatized, and unsafe. The Village provides these, and much more.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Chocolate, all the way!

Come see Chaquita and Matthew and our latest renovations! Contact Megan McKinley Thomas to set up your tour at 202.939.2074 or mmckinley@nstreetvillage.org.