"As a beneficiary of the dedication of volunteers, I carry and enjoy the legacy of volunteerism.”
As Regional Outreach Officer for the Eastern Regional Outreach Office, Tomeka supports the strategic plans and goals of the agency with a focus on stakeholder engagement, outreach to diverse audiences, and intellectual property education and training.
Her position provides her the opportunity to interact with and share the importance and impact of intellectual property with inventors, entrepreneurs, small businesses, students, universities, and organizations.
Her volunteerism helps her succeed in her current outreach role, as volunteerism and outreach are a lot alike. Tomeka has been a volunteer for as long as she can remember. For her, volunteering is a lifetime commitment. “I receive great joy from volunteering!”
Tomeka enjoys mentoring children and learning from them through volunteering. It keeps her technical skills sharp. She takes great satisfaction in spending her time investing in the lives of others. “I enjoy the benefits of being surrounded by the young people I mentor. It’s great to see the spark in their eyes when they do something that they have never experienced before.”
Since joining the USPTO in 2005, Tomeka has volunteered for several programs — Engineering Week, FIRST LEGO League, JAMTECH, Noches de Ciencias, the Girls Scouts and more. She says it’s energizing for her to participate in various educational activities, while empowering young people through STEM and STEAM programs with a focus on intellectual property.
Tomeka’s philosophy on volunteering is simple: “Giving back through volunteering equals an investment of a lifetime.” She believes it is important for people to give back because of the phenomenal impact it has. Over time, individuals who have been nurtured by participating in education and outreach activities often become volunteers themselves.
For Tomeka, volunteering is in her DNA, and working at the USPTO provides her plenty of opportunities to give back.