Chrisal Valencia

Public Allies Arizona: Burning You With the 5 Core Values

posted by
Chrisal Valencia
Member Events &
Volunteer Coordinator
Local First Arizona

Public Allies has played a very definitive role in my life. It has enabled me to gain experience professionally, to grow personally and most of all—ignite my love and passion to serve.

As I prepped for what I wanted to say to the next graduating class of Public Allies Arizona, I took a queue from my own days as an ally and reflected. I remembered that it was becoming a mom that inspired me to pursue a life and career that aimed to help better my community, and help shape an even better one for my daughter. My daughter Noelle turned 1 when I started my first year of Public Allies. Now she'll be turning 5 and starting school next month.

I feel as though every year she gets older and every year that I get older, I become even more appreciative of my own mom. Growing up, my mom had this wonderfully blunt but loving way of parenting. It was no frills; when my sisters & I suffered our teen angst-y issues or had drama there were no ‘Full House’ type moments. No conversations by the bedside with gentle music playing in the background like we watched so many times on television. It was more like to-the-point brutal honesty, but with honest-to-god love for her daughters behind it. It took me many years to realize and embrace this.

The best way I can describe it is sort of like icy-hot. You know in the long run it’s going to be good for you. But at first it burns & it’s a little painful. It’s not until later on that the warmth and relief comes. In fact whenever I referred to my work the entire 2 years of my time spent serving with Public Allies, my mom would worriedly ask me the same question (in a thick Filipino accent), “So Chrisal…when are you going to get a real job?” Ouch, burn. It wasn’t until last November after attending one of the events my organization holds that she finally understood and said to me, “Oh, so thisis what you do. Wow.”