employee spotlight

Employee Spotlight: Guadalupe Bojorquez

Every once in awhile we like to feature one of our awesome team members who is on the ground doing amazing things in our community. This month, we are dedicating our Employee Spotlight post to Guadalupe Bojorquez - a Community Education Worker on our Early Childhood Programs team.

Guadalupe has 16 years of experience working in early childhood education.

Guadalupe has 16 years of experience working in early childhood education.

Guadalupe is a part of the Community Education Worker team (called “Creciendo Juntos,” or CEW), which helps provide culturally specific resources to families with young children in the Portland-Metro area. We sat down with her and asked her about her experience at Latino Network and working in Early Childhood programs:

Where are you from? How did you your career path lead you to Latino Network?

I’m from Mexico. I started participating as a mom Early Childhood programs and later got offered to be a volunteer by Christine Taylor. From being a volunteer, I got offered a job from Latino Network and currently I’m a Health Worker and an Educational Promoter for the program Creciendo Juntos (CEW).

Describe your work at Latino Network and Creciendo Juntos. How long have you worked in this field?

I work with families who have children from newborns to three-year-olds. I help families develop develop parenting skills to help their kids connect with the educational and health resources available for them, and I have a little more than 16 years working with early education. 

What is a success story that you’ve had with families/individuals who you’ve helped while working for Latino Network? 

The greatest joy is to see the families adapt to the educational and health system of this country. It gives me great pleasure to see a child learn how to first hold a Crayon properly so that they can draw their stories. 

Any other details that you believe are important?

I would like to thank all of the people who have believed in me and in the work that I do because it has made me into the person that I am today. First I want to thank my mother, Christine Taylor, Ruby Ibarra, Sadie Fiebel, Carmen Rubio, Noelle Wiggins and Lupe Campos. I hope to continue serving my Latino community. 
 


Thank you Guadalupe for being such an inspiration to the Early Childhood team! Your hard work and dedication has impacted the lives of so many families and children!

Keep up the amazing work! 
 


Employee Spotlight: Debbie Cabrales

Debbie has been on the Family Stability team since summer of 2016.

Debbie has been on the Family Stability team since summer of 2016.

Every once in awhile we like to feature one of our awesome team members who is on the ground doing amazing things in our community. This time, we chose a Latino Network employee who has been working hard to help families achieve their dreams.

Debbie Cabrales is a Family Stability Program Coordinator and works for our Community Based Programs. Since she came on board in June, Debbie has worked with countless families to help them with rental assistance, education, employment, and achieving their goals for their children.

We sat down with Debbie and asked her to give us a snapshot of what it’s like to be a Family Stability Program Coordinator:

Q: Where are you from? How did you get into your career path?

I am from Woodburn Oregon. I started this career path when I started going to school at Western Oregon University. When I first went there I thought that I wanted to go into Criminal Justice, but once I took a sociology class, it changed my views and I realized that I wanted to help people and that my passion was in working more directly with the community.

Q: What is your family history or heritage?

I feel that being a first generation Hispanic/Latina woman has helped me a lot. All of the sacrifices that my parents have gone through for my siblings and I have really opened my eyes in a lot of ways. My parents came to this country from Mexico wanting a better future for my siblings and me, so when I think about motivation I think about my parents and how everything that they did for us is not going to waste.

Q: What’s your job at Latino Network like?

I meet with community members and families when they need the most support and hope. In doing so, I assist them in meeting their goals to reach stability, provide support with their education, employment and housing, and I also discuss goals for their children’s education and achieving student success. 

Q: What is a success story that you've witnessed with the people you've helped while working at Latino Network?

One of the families that I work with had just moved here from out of state. As soon as I met the family, both the parents and children were extremely hopeful and wanting to do better.

While the mother worked, the father went out looking for apartments and would submit applications, and at the same time pick up and drop off kids at school. And soon after, they had been approved for an apartment and were on their way finally being able to have a place to call home.

The family was able to celebrate the holidays in the comfort of their own home, and see their children be able to open up presents. These were things that to the family seemed like it would be impossible for it to happen. Now the family is doing great and keeps being positive, they never lost hope and were able to fulfill their dreams and make them a reality.

Q: How does your team at Latino Network help engage the community?

We do more than just help with rental assistance. We help families by trying to build relationships in order for them to have positivity in their lives. We help them achieve their goals and do anything in our power to positively get them engaged with the community and be a support system that the families need.

 

Thanks Debbie for being such an amazing part of our team and for helping so many families!

Keep up the awesome work!

 

Employee Spotlight: Thalia Garcia-Aguilar

At Latino Network, we are always trying to find new and fun ways to recognize the people who are on the ground making a difference in our community: our staff. That's why we're starting a blog series that features our employees who are doing amazing things with youth, families, and communities here in Portland.

To start, we're featuring our very own AmeriCorps Vista, Thalia Garcia-Aguilar!

Thalia became our AmeriCorps Vista and Volunteer Coordinator in August, 2016.

Thalia became our AmeriCorps Vista and Volunteer Coordinator in August, 2016.

Thalia helps coordinate all of our volunteers at Latino Network. From recruitment to training, she's the one who helps our organization connect with awesome people in the community who want to volunteer their time with our programs. 

Before she became our AmeriCorps Vista, Thalia was with Latino Network as an AmeriCorps Summer Vista, helping our School Based Programs in our Ninth Grade Counts summer program. In August 2016, she became our resident Vista and started her volunteer coordinating position with us. 

Here is what she had to say about her experience at Latino Network:

Question: What motivated you to go into AmeriCorps?

Thalia: Throughout my undergraduate schooling I meet a lot of people who told me about their experiences in AmeriCorps and it seemed really rewarding. I also remember receiving different job offers right after graduation, but none of them fit according to what I thought would be my next step in my career, so I joined AmeriCorps. Once I got involved I knew it was the right choice.

Question: What do you think about working for Latino Network?

Thalia: I ran across Latino Network during my undergraduate studies at Warner Pacific. The people I met were great and because I'm a first-generation Mexican-American, working here feels familiar. There's a lot of parallels between working at Latino Network and the family atmosphere I grew up with at home.

Question: What are you studying in school now? What would you like to do with it?

Thalia: I received my B.S. in May 2016 in Social Entrepreneurship. I originally wanted to get my MBA, but after working in the 9th Grade Counts program this past summer, I decided to pursue my Masters in Education. I don't know what my dream career is, but it definitely involves running a business in the interest of education, social justice, and diversity. I also would love to travel throughout the country and teach schools how to dismantle systems of oppression and become more inclusive and equitable environments.

It was amazing to create the connection between the student and my friend, and to help foster a passion within the student that inspired him to succeed.

Question: What's a success story that you've experienced while working at Latino Network?

Thalia: During my Summer Vista service with 9th Grade Counts, I connected one of my students who was into skateboarding with a friend of mine who was starting up a skateboarding company called Quartet. I asked him for Quartet stickers because my student liked the one on my water bottle. I told him how passionate my student was to learn how to skateboard, and how he was a great leader in the classroom. He was one of my students who can rally this peers together and often would help get his peers to be involved in activities. My friend gifted a skateboard and t-shirt to my student because of the student's initiative to lead and make a difference. 

Months later, I got to meet my former student's mother. She wanted to let me know how well her son was doing in school and how meeting my friend has motivated him to graduate high school. He's also getting better at skateboarding! It was amazing to create the connection between the student and my friend, and to help foster a passion within the student that inspired him to succeed. That's what education is all about, and that's what I plan to do in the future!

Thank you Thalia for your amazing work at Latino Network and your passion to help the community! We can't wait to see what you'll achieve in the future!

If you're interested in connecting with Thalia to volunteer with us, click the button below: