People First: Personifying Bizzell’s Core Values Abroad
Lanham, MD—October 1, 2019—This month, the Bizzell Group is highlighting a team member who brings our values to life inside and outside of the workplace. Bryant Senghor, a graphic designer and photographer based at Bizzell HQ (New Carrollton, MD), supports various corporate and client projects by creating infographics, brochures, animations, posters, web banners, and more.
Not only does Bryant go above and beyond with his creative work, he is also dedicated to making an impact on the world around him. Recently, Bryant spent his summer vacation volunteering on a mission trip to La Hacienda, Mexico, where he helped provide health services and other necessities to community members.
Q & A:
Tell us about your trip to La Hacienda. Whom did you go with? What were all the ways that you and your team served the community?
My trip to La Hacienda was absolutely amazing! I went with a group of 17 people from my church in Baltimore, MD, through a service partnership with the local church in Mexico. We assisted during their youth spiritual summer camp program, where we taught classes, arts and crafts, and dancing. We served the children meals, donated school supplies, painted bathrooms, and shared in fellowship every day. Outside of the classroom, we tended to the grapefruit fields and dug trenches. We also delivered supplies, toiletries, and clothes to a newly constructed convenience store that one of our team members helped build on a previous mission trip.
One of the most impactful efforts was the health fair coordinated by our team, where we provided blood pressure readings, glucose level monitoring, and eyesight testing; donated supplies to the community’s doctor; and more. Let’s just say, we put a lot of sweat equity into all the projects there… it was so much fun!
What sparked your interest in participating in a mission trip?
I decided to take part in a 10-day opportunity, alongside my wife and fellow church members, because I wanted to expand my cultural and social understanding of communities other than my own. This trip showed me that there is much more to other cultures than what’s portrayed in the media or what I’ve experienced at home. I’ve gained an entirely new perspective for the cultural differences.
I wanted to provide my service, as well as build long-lasting connections with people outside my usual day-to-day life. The people of La Hacienda gave us unconditional love, warm embraces, and a bond that we will cherish forever.
What were some other health-related challenges affecting the community of La Hacienda?
We found that there are not enough vegetables in their diet and large amounts of salt and sugar are consumed, which contributes to health problems. Test results from the health fair showed high rates of diabetes and hypertension among adults and children as young as infancy to 5 years old. The local doctor said they went three months without hypertension medicine due to changes in the laws. Among social issues, there’s alcohol and drug abuse among teens because of the lack of constructive, safe outlets and activities. There seemed to be mild depression in some of the adults, which became evident during some of the spiritual sessions.
In what ways did the services you provided align with Bizzell’s mission/core values?
For me, adaptability was the first step to ensuring successful collaboration between our two groups. Once on their land, we became acclimated to the culture, everyday life, and their needs, beyond what meets the eye. The goal is for our service to be participatory and engaging, while purely reflecting the wants and needs of the community, putting the people first. My group is committed to introducing ways to promote heritage, spirituality, health, education, and more.
How would you like to see Bizzell continue to drive its vision of healthy, secure, and sustainable communities in our nation and around the world?
Bizzell does a great job of making sure staff members are well-rounded and abreast of trends and global issues through the work we do. I’m very thankful to work for an organization with shared values, allowing me to spend time pursuing my passions. I even received donations from Bizzell team members that I was able to take to La Hacienda. Hopefully, next year I can bring some colleagues along to volunteer with me or at other clinics in need across the globe. That’s what we’re all about… ensuring access to resources and quality of service for all.