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Retired Sailor does her part in the community through programs for less privileged

Thursday, June 22, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Valerie Arendt
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Retired Sailor does her part in the community through programs for less privilegedChristina Malu is a member of NASW-NC!

 

From Camp Lejeune Globe

 

Helping children and expecting mothers is a passion for Christina Malu, Early Head Start Family and Community Partnership, mental health coordinator.


“I am blessed to serve as the Family and Community Partnership, mental health coordinator for the Early Head Start home-based program,” said Malu, whose role is to collaborate with EHS parents and staff to develop and implement family and community partnerships through outreach activities.


The EHS is a federally-funded program designed to serve families with low income and expectant women in the community.


Malu retired from the Navy as a chief petty officer in 2005 after 21 years of dedicated service. According to Malu, joining the military was more than a desire to serve the country but also was a family tradition.


During her time in the Navy, one of the biggest challenges Malu experienced as a parent was going on deployment and having to leave her children behind. For Malu, having a strong support system and knowing her children were taken care of while she was deployed was paramount in order to keep her head in the game.


“Because there was a season where I became a single parent, I had to make sure that I connected well with those around me,” said Malu. “Really hone in on who your supports are, whether it’s family or whomever you call in the area, so you can stay focused on what you need to do.”


“Things are different now than when I was in active duty,” said Malu. “Now, there is better communication. We didn’t have Skype and it’s great that we have those things now.”


For Malu, the transition to civilian life took some time, but she loves it and is very happy to do her part in the community.


“I am still a military person at heart,” said Malu.


The Bronx, New York native, relocated from Norfolk Virginia to Onslow County after retiring from active duty to join her husband who is a retired Marine.

“While stationed in Norfolk, I traveled to Onslow County frequently and fell in love with the small community,” said Malu.


Malu encourages service members to take advantage of the vast opportunities offered by the military, and to develop interpersonal and professional skills.

“Serving on active duty afforded me the opportunity to develop transferable skills in leadership and teamwork,” said Malu.


Malu is grateful for her time in the Navy and feels blessed for the opportunities she was afforded. Malu pledged in an undergraduate sorority at age 41.


“I am so blessed to have served on active duty,” said Malu. “While on active duty, I became a wife, mother and grandmother. Since retiring, I completed my undergraduate degree in social work at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington and volunteered in the community. In 2018, I will be completing my MSW Degree in social work from East Carolina University.”


Malu comes from a supportive family with parents who instilled in her the importance of staying involved with the community.


“My dad stressed the importance of physical, mental health and well-being,” said Malu. “My mom taught me the meaning of advocacy through her work in the community.”


The former chief petty officer emphasized the importance of the bond between parent and child as it provides the foundation for other relationships. She also stressed the need to seek early intervention services as soon as possible if you need assistance.


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