Leadership development is one of our three key Program Success Strategies and our alumni are “leading” the way!
The Alumni Leadership Council consists of KidWorks “grads” who are both in college and in the workforce who want to give back to the programs who gave them so much as students.
“I’m thrilled to be part of the council because KidWorks has been such a huge part of my life. I wouldn't be where I am today without KidWorks. I always loved giving back to my community and the Alumni Leadership Council is a perfect way to do so.”—Luz Estrada
The leadership development component of Program Success Strategies is guiding Alumni Leadership Council members to “gain knowledge, compassion and skills to give back to their community.”
Giving back is fundamental to the Alumni Leadership Council’s purpose.
“The council joined with others in August to repair and restore a beautiful mural that had been defaced by graffiti,” says Erika Sanchez, our College & Career Coordinator. “This mural had originally been conceived and created by KidWorks in 2007. The restoration became a leadership lesson about how to positively resolve a disturbing occurrence. ”
Adds Erika, “The Alumni Leadership Council is also actively exploring other ways to lead: Partnering on opportunities with the KidWorks’ Parent Advisory Council, mentoring youth who are members of our Community Leaders of Santa Ana service/leadership group, helping with the development of our College Success Initiative™ (CSI) and creating service opportunities for students and alumni.”
“The alumni association is a way for me to get back involved with KidWorks and to help out.”—Jesus Mejia
In addition to developing leadership skills among its members, the council is also focused on promoting ongoing social connections between those who first forged lifelong friendships at KidWorks.
“In July, we hosted a KidWorks alumni reunion that included alumni, past volunteers and staff,” Erika says. “It was a time to celebrate how much we and KidWorks have grown over the years.”
Members of the KidWorks Alumni Leadership Council are:
Luz Estrada (Class of 2013)
Betty Garcia (Class of 2012)
Josue Hernandez (Class of 2018)
Julia Hernandez (Class of 2012)
Jesus Mejia (Class of 2013)
Edgar Morales (Class of 2016)
Alfredo Padilla (Class of 2010)
Benjamin Ruiz (Class of 2010)
Erika Sanchez (Class of 2010)
Xitlaly Sanchez (Class of 2012)
Jessica Vega (Class of 2014)
Yabilex Villanueva (Class of 2013)
“Through the alumni association there will be a chance to have a voice and impact on KidWorks’ future.”—Xitlaly Sanchez
“KidWorks has done a great job keeping the mission and vision alive over the past 26 years,” Erika adds. “It’s been an honor to grow with KidWorks and to now usher in a new generation of youth. Our homegrown alumni are perfectly suited to inspire the next generation through the work of the council in the areas of urban development, cross-cultural experiences and local leadership.”
By Glenn Leibowitz, volunteer writer