Many people told Lareesha H. that she would never work for the National Security Agency (NSA) due to its perceived lack of diversity.
They were wrong.
“Through hard-work, late nights and additional schooling. I made sure I possessed the necessary skills to obtain a position at NSA,” she says. “In 2009, my dream came true – not only working at NSA but also in the exact job I wanted.”
Now an 11-year veteran of the agency, she recently reflected on her journey to NSA and the agency’s success in fostering a supportive and diverse work environment.
She said it all started with a motto she tries to live by: “If fear is the only thing that is holding you back, then you have a good chance at meeting your goal, because FEAR you can overcome with trying.”
Lareesha grew up a ‘military brat’ oversees before her family settled in Maryland in 1994. She was a typical kid who loved running track, writing poetry and shopping.
She attended Morgan State University and became a lifelong member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, a not-for-profit organization that provides assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world.[su_quote]Delta Sigma Theta Sorority taught me that the sky is the limit, it is ok to step out of your comfort zone, and the reward you get from helping others is unmeasurable. I strive to be a strong, effective leader who provides emotional support, career guidance, networking opportunities and resource assistance to my coworkers. When I see someone overcome a problem at work or receive a promotion based off my assistance; it brings great joy to my heart and it is why I do what I do.
After graduating, her early professional life included working as a contractor for the Office of Personnel Management. In that role, Lareesha learned about different federal agencies and what they do. One of those agencies was NSA, and she was inspired to join an organization dedicated to protecting national security…