Meet the Staff: Cerrissa

1.     Tell us about yourself.

My name is Cerrissa Cuellar, I have a BA in Organizational Corporate Communication and Print Media, from the University of Texas at El Paso. I was born and raised in El Paso, but spent some years living in San Antonio, Phoenix, AZ, and most recently, Washington, DC. I am a mom of two little ones- my daughter Harper, who is 4 and my son Lincoln, who is 2. When we are not working, my husband and I enjoy traveling with our kids, and experiencing some of our favorite travel destinations, through the eyes of our children. 

Prior to working with United Way, I have held positions with the El Paso Water Utilities as the Public Relations Specialist, Director of Marketing and Communications for the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. I have also worked for the University of Texas at El Paso in the Office of Alumni Relations. While in Washington, DC. I had the opportunity to work as the Public Relations Manager for a local dog rescue and earned a contract position on the Marketing and Communications team for Friendship Place, a nonprofit organization that is committed to ending homelessness in Washington, DC. It was during my time in DC, that I found my passion for Nonprofits. I spent my evenings and weekends, volunteering with Catholic Charities as a Prison Reentry Program mentor, serving meals to the homeless and migrant population with Saint Maria’s Meals, and serving the homeless at various shelters throughout the region.

2.     Give us a description of what you do for the El Paso United Community Resiliency Center.  

I have the privilege of leading an amazing team of Navigators within the CRC. As the Manager of the program, I support the Navigators in their day-to-day responsibilities, promote and facilitate team building, community development, and work daily on establishing and maintaining relationships within our community and with our community partners, to strengthen those in need. 

3.     Why is this work so important to our community?

I believe strongly in duty to our community and that when we are called to serve, we answer that call. For me, this is everything that United Way and the Community Resiliency Center, embodies: a call to duty, answers, and long-term solutions for those individuals and families within our community that need our support.  

The need for assistance has always been present, the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated that need and magnified the disparities within our most underserved communities. The work that the CRC team does, and the services that the CRC provides to the community, are so important because we are aiding individuals that may not have anywhere else to turn to for help. We are empowering and building resiliency within our clients by providing them with guidance to crucial services that will meet their specific needs, and all during a global pandemic.  

4.     What is the most surprising thing you have learned about the community and yourself in your time at the El Paso United Community Resiliency Center? 

There are always new ways to help, and we lead an incredible team that is willing to assist in every way possible. We are lucky to serve in a strong community as El Paso is. 

5.     What interests you the most about your position at the El Paso Community Resiliency Center?

My biggest interest is how the El Paso community has come together to serve our most vulnerable populations, during a truly unprecedented time. The grace, empathy, and passion, that I have been witness to, within my first month at the CRC, is the epitome of teamwork and service to others- it is beautiful. 

6.     Share a quote that motivates you as a person and as a member of the El Paso United Community Resiliency Center team.

“Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking, ‘How can I help?’”

The El Paso United Community Resiliency Center is dedicated to serving families financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the navigation of our trained Resiliency Navigators, we connect individuals and/or families to basic needs assistance, i.e. rental and utility assistance. Learn More.