Monday, April 23, 2018

Meet LaTika Lee 

Dual Enrollment Admissions Specialist, PRC



Where did you grow up? If not Richmond, how long have you lived here, and what brought you here?
I was born in the bosom of southern hospitality in the “Hostess City of the South”, Savannah, GA. Grounded in my grandmother’s Gullah (Geechee) culture which spans along the coastal sea islands dotting the coastline of Georgia and South Carolina. My blended family “migrated” to Fairfax County when I was a senior in high school, but I have lived in the Richmond area for 20 years.

How long have you worked for Reynolds? What did you do for work before you came here?
My career bookends with Reynolds employment. In the early 2000s, I worked as a “P14” in the Office of Marketing and Public Relations for nearly four years (during the transition between Dr. S.A. Burnette) when Dr. Rhodes came on board. Then, I worked at WWBT, WCVE PBS and in local newspapers. I have been with the Office of Admissions and the Office of Dual Enrollment since 2013.

What is the best part of your job? 
Making a difference in the lives of our diverse student, faculty, and staff by helping people from all walks of life.

I hear that you like to write – stories and poetry – and that you are an avid reader. Would you be willing to share one of your poems in this Profile?
My poem "Hope" is below. I "hope" everyone enjoys reading it.

What is your favorite book and why?
The Color Purple, written by Alice Walker. It was set in rural Georgia, so I could relate to its surroundings. It was published when I was about 14 years old, so it made a profound impact on how I saw the world.  Recently, I had a chance to meet Alice Walker during her visit to Richmond in early April.

What is your favorite thing to do in Richmond and why?
I love all of the cultural festivals that are here in RVA. I especially like the Richmond Folk Festival, Down Home Family Reunion Festival, Second Street Festival and the Afrikana Film Festival.

If you won the Mega Millions jackpot and had unlimited funds what would you do first?
Education is very important to me so I would be sure that my two sons have academic support and their higher education tuition is Paid-In-Full! Then, I would seek and enroll in a Master’s Degree program (debating between Social Work and History & Material Culture) and finally, I would pledge funding to my alma mater, Norfolk State University, a historically black college, and create a merit-based endowment here at Reynolds for students in need.


HOPE

Rising due east
Amber light peeks through
an alluring prism
persuading morning dew to surrender … 
Waving a white flag like a ribbon in the sky. 

Today is the dawn of
a new beginning, a new season.
It’s the first week of spring but,
Intervals of grey skies c l o a k 
the Capitol City & play Hide n seek with the sun,
masking our celebration of syncopated
‘Easter on Parade’ fun.

Yet, Hope awakens, dancing skip to my lou,
Twirling loop-de-loop,
Twisting hula hoops.
Spring, you're my Muse …
I just want to take it all in
And B O O M,
bloom with you …
Refreshed,
Renewed.

There’s a certain je ne sais quoi that
Nurtures my soul.
Delights me, serendipity caresses me.
Your energy invigorates me
with an aura which lures me into this
spring equinox ---
like an eclipse teetering on its axis
radiating into
An unknown abyss.

The enchantment seduces me into this
Fixation on budding irises undeterred
To PoPUp like a Jack-in-the-Box
six weeks before Mother’s Day.
But, I am intrigued by 
your mystery, 
your mastery,
your mystifying green eyes that shine
like glass marbles reflecting the light 
of a mirror that hypnotizes my soul.
I can't help but gaze and stare and 
wonder what is beyond cotton-candy hyacinths
blossoming.