Meet the Staff: Ursula

1.    Tell us about yourself.

I graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso in Fall 2018 with my undergrad in Multidisciplinary Studies. My core concentrations focused on the Fine Arts, Art Education and the Social Sciences. While I was attending UTEP I participated in Students for Sustainability, Environmental Advocates and the Academic Revival of Indigenous Studies and Education. My goal in participating with all of these groups has been and is centered on studying and learning ways in which the mind, body and spirit can be integrated in order to influence healing not only within ourselves, but our communities as well.

2.    Give us a description of what you do for United Way.  

I am currently an AmeriCorps Vista member who works on community health access in El Paso County. Essentially, I assist United Way to increase residents’ ability to access methods of health. In addition to this, I assist in identifying local organizations and strengthening our relationships with them to further aid our community to meet their basic health needs. I do this while simultaneously looking at other factors which may promote health on a wider spectrum.

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

In the state of Texas, El Paso is one of the lowest income cities and consequently, it impairs our community’s ability to have access to basic health care needs. Due to this, many families tend to avoid treating medical health concerns, which may very well prove to be severe much later on. United Way is working to ensure that families don’t have to choose between their health and basic needs.

4.    What is the most surprising thing you have learned about the community and yourself in your time at United Way? 

The most surprising thing I have learned through United Way is that in El Paso, there are families who are one emergency away from falling under the poverty line but are unable to access programs and services that help their circumstances because of their income bracket. In addressing the financial issues of this group of people, we can decrease poverty rates. 

5.    Share a quote that motivates you as a person and as a member of the United Way team.

“The agony of breaking through personal limitations, is the agony of spiritual growth.”

-Joseph Campbell [The Hero with a Thousand Faces]