One of the newest members to United Way of El Paso County, Elisa, is working hard to make an impact in the borderland region. In addition to her impressive track record, her commitment to the community makes her the perfect asset to our team. Read below to find out more about her and the work she is spearheading.
1. Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in El Paso and grew up in the Lower Valley. I graduated from Eastwood, and got my undergraduate and graduate degree in San Antonio. I have been able to go to Ireland, Brazil, and Japan in my educational pursuits. I have worked my entire career in the areas of health and education, including policy work in the U.S. Senate. Cool fact: I did an internship with the FBI during my undergraduate schooling. I love the weather, food, sunsets, and people in El Paso. I also enjoy hiking with my fur-baby Mateo.
2. Give us a description of what you do for United Way.
As the Healthy Kids Director, I manage staff and systems and am accountable for nurturing the efficiency and effectiveness of both, providing high-level strategic thinking and facilitation of activities in the Healthy Kids Priority Area. This includes supporting organizations in El Paso, Southern New Mexico, and in Juarez, Mexico to ensure that they have access to tools to deliver high quality programing in our borderland.
3. Why is this work so important to our community?
Our borderland is unique. Part of my passion is elevating communities to have access to quality health care and educational opportunities, which is in line with the mission of the United Way. In this role, I work every day towards ensuring that children in our borderland have access to quality programs that will enrich their lives. I get to work with a network of people that, together, will build a strong society that starts with our children.
4. What is the most surprising thing you have learned about the community and yourself in your time at United Way?
Every day I am invigorated to work with, and meet in the community, tenacious and competent professionals. I am in awe that we have developed a robust arsenal of skills to be able to work in this area such as cultural competencies and being bi-lingual. There is also a very enterprising and entrepreneurial spirit that this community fosters.
5. Share a quote that motivates you as a person and as a member of the United Way team.
'Figure It Out.' This was my personal mantra in 2016 that has pushed me through many situations. When there is a challenge, I tell myself 'Figure it out.' This also goes back to the enterprising spirit of the people I work with at the United Way. All of us face obstacles in the community or adversity, but my colleagues at the United Way always 'Figure It Out' and it is fun to watch as novel approaches develop.