How did you discover your passion for what you do, and what opportunities have helped shape your career?

My passion for service work started when my church introduced me to the Sierra Service Project (SSP) as a teenager. As a church, we would go out to Native American Reservations across the West Coast and help with home and community beautification projects. I learned so much about the Native American community during those service trips, like the beauty in the culture, different traditions and the welcoming nature the community had towards us. I also saw the difficulty underserved communities face such as lack of healthcare access, lack of access to healthy food and substance abuse. It was through SSP where I learned that I could make a difference. One of my favorite projects was building a wheelchair ramp for a community member. Although this community member struggled using a staircase to get into his house for many years, he never once complained. Seeing his emotional reaction to our finished project confirmed my recognition of the impact I can make on others.

What advice do you have for working in a virtual/socially distant society?

I recommend to always continue making the effort to connect. When you are in a Zoom work meeting, be sure to turn your camera on and be as present as you would if you were sitting in a conference room. Go the extra mile to virtually reach out to someone at work that you don’t have a connection with yet!