1. Tell us about yourself.
I have lived in the border area my entire life, which allows me to express myself bilingually and embrace being bicultural. I am very familiar with the topography, demographics, and cultural factors that surround the City of Juarez and of course the city of El Paso. I am the youngest child of a family of six, the first in my family to acquire a college degree, and a second generation Mexican-American. I hold a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic Media and Marketing from the University of Texas at El Paso. I have worked for nonprofit organizations for the last six years, most recently as Operations Director for the Federacion Mexicana de Asociaciones Privadas de Salud y Desarrollo Comunitario A.C. Foundation in El Paso before working at United Way of El Paso County.
2. Give us a description of what you do for United Way.
I am a team member of the Healthy Kids Backbone Team, which coordinates an initiative that is funded by the Paso del Norte Health Foundation and coordinated by the United Way of El Paso County. As the Healthy Kids Manager, I convene with and support stakeholders in the Paso Del Norte area to improve health outcomes by engaging disconnected youth in the region. This is mainly done through facilitating capacity building trainings, sharing best practices in group settings, and other methods of data collection activities that provide tools to help our partners deliver high quality programming in Southern New Mexico, West Texas, and Ciudad Juarez.
3. Why is this work so important to our community?
Our permeable border benefits from better health outcomes and by working together as an integrated community we can help children and youth thrive. Having access to quality out of school programming reduces children and youth risks factors, and helps them develop into resilient adults. Improving the quality of life of the children in our community ensures a brighter and a stronger future for all.
4. What is the most surprising thing you have learned about the community and yourself in your time at United Way?
I've noticed that our bi-national-bilingual-bicultural community has proven over time to be strong and there is a willingness to work together despite system differences. It is rewarding and invigorating to witness firsthand the goodwill and kindness that exists among our peers and community leaders to help others realize their aspirations. I am thrilled to work for the United Way of El Paso County, an organization that is committed to improving our social fabric.
5. Share a quote that motivates you as a person and as a member of the United Way team.
“Never give up." Our community has shown resiliency during the toughest times, and that resiliency is now instilled in us and is a part of who we are. We work together for common goals and we support the most vulnerable in our community. Never giving up is a consistent way to overcome any adversity at the personal and professional level, but proves that we are trusted to undertake this work and make a difference and a positive impact that will endure over time.