Jacqueline Santamaria: Presentations of Impact 2020

Jacqueline Santamaria: Presentations of Impact 2020

Public Allies has been one of the greatest working experiences I have ever had. It all started when I was in an in-between phase and I was tired of pointless jobs. I found Public Allies Arizona on my Pima account, and I applied on a whim. Three interviews later, I became an Ally. It was a challenging experience at times, but I feel like it was the best kind of challenging. It helped me grow in a way where no other job or program has done.

This opportunity has taught me so much about what I am capable of. I have never really been challenged by a job. In the past, everything came pretty easy to me, and it was just a means to an end. The moment I clocked out, I was gone. This program is definitely not that, I feel like it challenges you to look within and really makes you think about what you want to do with your life and how you can truly make an impact in your life and in your community.

My matching experience was very spontaneous. The organization I ended up being partnered with was actually a last-minute interview, and I am so thankful that it happened that way. I was partnered with Pima Community College which is really appropriate since that is how it all started for me. I was partnered with the Dual Enrollment program as an Outreach Specialist. This is truly an amazing organization that helps high school students get dual credit for high school and college credits simultaneously.

The Pima Community College Dual Enrollment team is truly remarkable. There's so much that needs to be done to make this happen for students and schools. Joining the team was such a welcoming experience. Everyone was so eager to get me involved in all aspects. I really wasn't sure in what capacity I would be able to help, but from the start the entire team showed me the process from beginning to end. I will admit it was challenging at times because there's so many steps and approvals. But the team is solid, and I feel like I was able to really get to know the program. I felt like a team member - not just an intern.

Being an Ally has been very rewarding to say the least. We have a very strong cohort. I have learned so much from capacity building to learning self-care which sounds a lot easier than it is. I was able to do a team service project with my fellow Allies. We were able to partner up with a local garden Community Gardens for our Team Service Project (TSP). We were able to help the program by creating social media that could be used continuously, editing existing footage, promoting events, opening plots for the community, and making materials accessible in both English and Spanish.

Overall, my experience with Public Allies has been amazing from being partnered with an amazing organization like Pima Community College Dual Enrollment program to being a part of such an amazing cohort. 2020 has been a truly challenging but rewarding year for myself both personally and career wise. I have met so many amazing people that have helped me and encouraged me to become a better and more involved person. I can say that my experience with that program will definitely last a lifetime.