Despite being born and raised in San Antonio, it didn’t really feel like “home” until about two years ago. When I entered my sophomore year at the International School of the Americas, I was plagued with a lot of family and personal hardships that isolated me from my communities. I had no clear idea which direction I wanted to go in, except away from San Antonio. However, a teacher at my school took notice of my disengagement and worked with me to find opportunities to discover my passions.
This led me to joining the San Antonio Youth Commission, a City-led commission comprised of twenty-two young people each representing City Council members and the Mayor. I was a representative of the Mayor, and of course, young people all across San Antonio. From youth-informed policy to summits, I was able to learn many stories of young people across San Antonio.
My passion for learning led me to find any avenue that was rich with information about the city and gave me the opportunity to develop skills to enact change. I have spent time with MOVE Texas (formally MOVE San Antonio), the District 7 and 9 City Council Offices, and the Borderland Collective.
The last two years learning from all those places also gave me a lot of time to learn about myself. I realized that the work I was doing helped reengage me with my city, and that my teacher helped me find my passions. I also realized that my story is often the exception. I had the privilege to have a mentor working closely with me to help me feel connected and involved in San Antonio. Most young people will often hold on to the feeling that there is not really a place, a job, or opportunity for them here.
Knowing that, I make it my mission to use the opportunities I have been given and share with others. I want to be a part of organizations that are helping improve this city and tell inclusive, sometimes complex, stories.
That is ultimately what led me here, to SA2020. Through all my past experiences, SA2020 was always a major player around me. I admired the work they were doing and was always eager to read their reports. When I got an email this summer asking if I would be interested in a part-time gig, there was no way I would turn that down.
I am excited to be a part of the storytelling and action-taking here at SA2020. I know that I will gain valuable workplace skills, learn so much about nonprofits, and strengthen my role as a community member. Most importantly, I will be working to create a San Antonio where my story is no longer an exception.
I start my first year at Trinity University in the fall as an Urban Studies major, happy to learn the nitty-gritty about cities and happy to stay in a place I call “home.”