Meet Makesha Judson
Occupation: Director of Special Projects and Legislative Liaison
Organization: Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services
Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA
Tell us a little about your Baton Rouge Story. What brought you to Baton Rouge?
I was born and raised in Baton Rouge. Attended public school and college in Baton Rouge. And I now work in Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge is home!
Tell us more about how you’re involved in Baton Rouge.
I’ve always been involved through government affiliation and volunteering with various nonprofit organizations and programs. Starting in middle school, I participated in the Louisiana Leadership Institute, which opened my eyes to the functions of government, volunteerism, and higher education. I moved on to participate in an AmeriCorps program in Baton Rouge (SERVE Louisiana), and from that point on, I’ve always been involved in government, public policy, and volunteerism.
I continue to stay engaged by volunteering and working with programs like Club Blue with the Boys and Girls Club, Big Buddy, Front Yard Bikes and The Walls Project, and serving on the board of The BRidge Agency, Inc. My time in the Mayor’s Office as the Chief Service Officer also afforded me the opportunity to connect with many nonprofit organizations doing great work in our community, such as: Baton Rouge Green, the 100 Black Men, and Keep Baton Rouge Beautiful. I’ve also been involved in various Baton Rouge leadership programs for young professionals like BRAC’s Leadership BR program, Forum 35, Rotaract, Junior League of Baton Rouge, and more.
What is your favorite thing about Baton Rouge?
Family, friends, food, and football. And having all those things together at one time creates a PARTY automatically!
What is your dream for Baton Rouge?
PROGRESS! I love to travel and as I go to visit other places and learn new things, I always say to myself, “we can do this in Baton Rouge,” and we can.
We can have quality public schools across the parish, thriving communities and housing, an exciting cultural, performing and public arts space, entertainment, and space where people can thrive economically. My dream for Baton Rouge is for this city to be the Greater Baton Rouge Area again, where you cannot tell the difference from one side of the city to the other. It once was that way and we can get back to it again.
How are young professionals like yourself shaping Baton Rouge?
My favorite part about Baton Rouge is probably the young professionals. They are paving the way for a more innovative, inclusive, and forward-thinking Baton Rouge. More and more of us are entering leadership roles, making decisions, becoming entrepreneurs and employers, becoming residential and commercial realtors, helping to shape the landscape of our communities, and advocate on various issues. My hope for young professionals in Baton Rouge is that the community will let us lead and we will surprise the community in great ways.
What would you say to someone considering a move to Baton Rouge?
Get involved and get connected. The best thing about Baton Rouge is its people. Embrace the city and get connected to great people and you will enjoy it.
What is your Baton Rouge favorite?
- Place to eat: Bistro Byronz
- Place to hang out: Fleming’s Happy Hour
- Place to capture the perfect Instagram pic: Pentagon Barracks, the Capitol Park Museum, and anywhere Downtown
- Place to people watch: Live After Five
- Place to network: BRAC Events
- Way to give back: Volunteering. In Baton Rouge, volunteering is the best way to network. I like to recommend the MLK Festival of Service. It’s a day on, not a day off.
- Event: Great Futures Gala, which is a night to honor young professionals benefitting The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge
With significant job growth, a bustling arts scene, delectable cuisine, abundant outdoor activities and more, the Capital Region attracts talent of all ages, including young professionals. Whether straight out of college or looking to establish their own business, more and more young professionals are choosing to lay their roots in Baton Rouge.
Each month, BRAC highlights one of these young Baton Rouge Area movers and shakers in the Young Professional Spotlight.