Meet the Staff - Mariana

1. Tell us about yourself.
My name is Mariana Sierra, I was born in El Paso and raised in Cd. Juarez. I’m a UTEP grad, I double majored in Multimedia Journalism and Political Science. I worked as a journalist for more than two years but my passion for community service brought me back to my beautiful frontera. I’m a very curious person, I love to learn about everything and anything. I enjoy literature more than anything and I’m always open for book suggestions. I love musical theatre and Disney more than I should. 
2. Give us a description of what you do for the El Paso United Family Resiliency Center.  
I am the Outreach Coordinator for the new El Paso United Family Resiliency Center. My main responsibility is to connect our center to the community and the community to our center. I seek to establish strong relationships with a wide variety of El Paso area organizations, schools and local communities. Also, I seek to implement promotional strategies that deepen general public awareness of our services through print, broadcast, social media, public presentations, etc. As outreach coordinator, I try my best to listen to our participants/clients’ needs and plan a strategy to meet those needs through different outlets. Finally, I work alongside the Marketing Coordinator in different communication projects.  
3. Why is this work so important to our community?
August 3rd impacted all of us. Our motto at the FRC is— “Together We Heal.” What we do at the FRC is so important because we want people to know that it’s okay to not feel okay. It’s okay if there are some days were, we don’t feel “El Paso Strong.” The FRC serves as a safe place where anyone can come and say— “I need help.” The grieving process after losing a loved one or experiencing a traumatic event has no timeframe or expiration date. The FRC has learned that individuals respond to trauma in different ways and they want to make sure they provide guidance and support to those who need it most. Our goal is to make our participants/clients smile again, feel safe again and to never feel they are alone in this path. 
4. What is the most surprising thing you have learned about the community and yourself in your time at the El Paso United Family Resiliency Center? 
I’m learning how to build resiliency. Our community partners and participants have been truly inspirational for my personal and professional growth. Day after day I’m reminded that my community is so special and worth working for. 
5. What interests you the most about your position at the El Paso Family Resiliency Center?
I love conversation, anytime I speaking to a community member about the FRC, I humbled by the fact that I get to do the job that I do. I’m so thankful I was given the opportunity to host our United & Resilient podcast, through guest interviews, I’ve learned so much about myself and my community. I love talking about our wonderful services to other organizations, whenever I’m “out” in the community, doing outreach presentations, virtually of course, I’m reminded of the importance of the FRC. I’m always amazed when we are contacted by another resiliency centers and I love learning from each other to better serve our unique communities. 
6. Share a quote that motivates you as a person and as a member of the El Paso United Family Resiliency Center team.
Work hard, be kind and stay humble— it will take you places kid. 
“No dejes de correr. Si te duelen los pies, quitate los zapatos, pero nunca dejes de correr”. My grandpa told me this when I was a kid playing kickball one afternoon with my neighbors. Now that I’m older I understand that what my grandpa told me can be applied to so many aspects in life. Here is the translation— “Don’t stop running. If your feet hurt take off your shoes, but never stop running.”

About El Paso United FRC: 

The El Paso United Family Resiliency Center (FRC) is a program led by the United Way of El Paso County. It serves as a place of healing and support dedicated to serving as a resource to those directly & indirectly impacted by the tragedy of August 3, 2019. Through resiliency navigators, the program offers personalized case management to connect individuals and families to credible programs and services that address their specific needs. The FRC also host a variety of events that allow for a shared healing process. Learn more.