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Team Freedom Cares: Zettra G. W., SVP, Corporate Operations

With 30 years of mortgage banking under her belt, Zettra G.W. has been with Freedom Mortgage for 23 years.

According to Zettra, “I consider myself a bit of a ‘hodgepodge,’ having worn so many hats here at Freedom Mortgage. Many aren’t aware, but I was hired in sales as a Loan Advisor. I am fortunate to have had opportunities in sales, operations, pricing, credit, title, and now, back to corporate funding—just to name a few. Some may have found this level of movement and change chaotic; I welcomed it, as it made me who I am.”

Originally from Camden, NJ, Zettra now resides in Voorhees, NJ.

“The city of Camden has many impoverished families,” Zettra told us. “As a product of Camden, I witnessed, firsthand, generations of homes that viewed food as a luxury expense.”

This compelled her to join the board for Cathedral Kitchen, a meal service, non-profit organization that helps people with food insecurities. In April of 1976, an International Eucharistic Congress was held in Philadelphia. Four young residents of Camden attended a session presented by Mother Teresa that would change their lives, eventually leading them to form a conference of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society. The goal? To help the hungry of Camden. That’s where the Cathedral Kitchen was born.

The Cathedral Kitchen (CK) provides meals at its headquarters in Camden, NJ. It’s also a center for several initiatives: local, afterschool programs; groceries for low-income senior centers; and food for local pantries, churches, and soup kitchens. In February of 2009, they launched the first job-training initiative: the Culinary Arts Training (CAT) program for Camden and surrounding area residents who are unemployed or underemployed and at risk for becoming homeless. Enrolled students incur no tuition or supply costs. Textbooks and related study materials, chef uniforms, and shoes are all provided by CK. Operating for 15 weeks, three times per year, the program is designed to instruct students in the skills needed to obtain employment in the culinary industry.

Hundreds of students have graduated from the CAT program and earned their ServSafe certification. More than 86% have gained employment within three months of graduation. As of 2021, Cathedral Kitchen’s Culinary Program has been recognized by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation as an ACFEF-Approved program.

In 2022, Cathedral Kitchen has forged partnership with several neighboring organizations and businesses that provide services during meal hours. These include housing and utility assistance, mental health and substance use treatment, HIV testing, and domestic violence advocacy.

If you are interested in learning more information about Cathedral Kitchen or wish to join, there are various giving opportunities to support their mission. Visit CathedralKitchen.org and look under “Help Us Change Lives.”

Fun Facts About Zettra:

Zettra was inducted into the Camden New Jersey Schools Foundation Hall of Fame in 2018, along with a fellow Camden schools alum and a Heisman Trophy winner!

Zettra graduated with honors from both Camden High School and was a dual major in economics and history at Oberlin College in Ohio. Zettra also spent a semester studying abroad at Oxford University in the UK.

Want to join Zettra and other dream-makers doing good for their community and each other? The time is now to #SoarWithUs at Freedom Mortgage. Check out all our open positions here.

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