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Inspiring Others Through Service

Photo credit: Joyce S. Faison

Joyce has been a member of Model Cities since 2012. She first heard about the program when a friend, who is a Hula instructor, invited her to a class at the Ward 5 wellness center. Joyce is heavily involved at The Center. She has been President of the Model Cities Choir since 2015. She enjoys coordinating shows and making music that inspires others. Her favorite show the Choir performed at was one at another senior wellness center in the District because the participants started their own choir after watching the Model Cities Choir perform.

Joyce has always looked for ways to encourage others. Her career in the federal government was dedicated to helping individuals start and grow their own businesses. Joyce worked for the Small Business Administration for 20 years. She was an Economic/Business Development Specialist and Manager of the Business Information Center, where she provided resources and training for people to get started in business. She organized a group of counselors who met monthly to discuss how the Business Information Center could better support the community. She even traveled to military bases to train service members on how to start their own business after they leave the military.

The Business Information Center was a special initiative with various locations designed to support underserved communities across the United States. Joyce led the highest ranked Business Information Center in the country for five years. She met with the D.C. Mayor at the time to coordinate the merging of the Center with the Martin Luther King Jr. Public Library. “That was a very rewarding career for me”, Joyce remembers.

One of her favorite parts of her job was mentoring student interns from all over the country. She had up to 20 interns at once. She remembers one student who wanted to start his own business but was worried that his family wanted him to pursue a different career path. Joyce encouraged him to sit down with his parents and lay out his plan. He eventually started a successful business helping students find scholarships. Joyce looks back fondly saying, “I saw that passion in him so that’s why it was really important for me to encourage him.”

Joyce’s commitment to lifting up others continues to inspire all of us at Seabury, not only during Women’s History Month, but all year ‘round.


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