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A Legacy of Service

I have been mulling over this article for about a week now.  There have been drafts and re-drafts of my journey from my education, to my career, to where I am now, and to where I am headed.  In a nutshell, my bachelor’s degree was in Biological Systems Engineering at UC Davis, and my career was in food manufacturing for over 20 years.  I was at a crossroad in my life earlier this year where I took a sharp left turn and resigned from my job to pursue a project management career in Renewable Energy or Sustainability.  Currently, I am pursuing my master’s degree in Project Management at Northeastern University and a renewable energy certification at Stanford University.  I will complete both my MS degree and certification by July 2023.

As I reflect on my journey for this article, my thoughts persistently gravitate towards the people who have made an impact on me.  What strikes me is that the people who have influenced me the most go about their lives with the mission to help others.  When I was a child, my mom always taught me and my siblings to help others.  My mom’s first job was as an elementary school teacher, and her last job was as a manager at a non-profit organization dedicated to helping seniors and adults with intellectual disabilities.  Helping others was her life’s mission.  It was her legacy.  My education in my early years taught Jesuit values which includes helping and respecting others and all of God’s creation.  Three of five of my siblings are nurses.  My mentors (who have become friends) have all been about service whether it be in National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the Air Force, food safety, education, helping others develop personal and professional growth, etc.  I have witnessed several of my mentors ponder over how they can help someone improve his or her education, career, or life in general.

It is fortuitous that I found Silicon Valley Project Management (SVPM) through my Project Scope Management professor, David Bakhtnia.  SVPM is a program under Agile and Scaled-Value Project Management (ASVPM), which is a non-profit organization that the founders, David Bakhtnia and Don Stringari, fondly call a “village.”  The ASVPM village is a community of Agile-minded individuals who collaborate to serve and share knowledge.  This is their legacy.  As new members join ASVPM in search of knowledge and experience, we enter a community of servant leaders who volunteer while juggling families, jobs, and many other commitments.  The culture in this village is undeniable.  It is a culture of support and service, which is a major factor in the Agile mindset.

As I look forward to standups, burndown charts, retrospectives, homework, reading assignments, etc., I look back to the ones who have helped me along the way.  I am thoroughly blessed to have had the support and mentorship to get me get to where I am and who I am today.  I am eager to give back to the SVPM village and to the world at large.  My legacy is the preservation of our environment for future generations.  I do this to honor the ones who have supported and mentored me.  I do this to honor my mom.  😊


2 thoughts on “A Legacy of Service”

  1. Thanks for sharing your journey, Lalaine. I am curious about how you see your Jesuit values reflected in your work as a Scrum master. It seems like there is likely a lot of overlap! As a current member of your team I am glad to have the chance to learn with you!

  2. Aleksandra Belugina

    Lalaine, your story is inspirational and empowering. In addition to that, I would add that you are a very supportive classmate and a mentor yourself. You have got a lot to share: knowledge, experience, patience, empathy, and support. I wish you all the best on your way to your dreams and I am very lucky to know you.

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