Yesenia Ortiz

Major: Health Science-Environmental Health Option
Hometown: Visalia, CA
Class: Senior
Program Position: Event Coordinator | AS Sustainability

Yesenia was looking for an internship focusing on civic engagement and heard about the program in her University 101 class. She liked what she saw on-line so she pursued an internship with E-ARC (Environmental Action and Resource Center). She became involved in a variety of sustainability initiatives and campaigns and realized that she had found a home. “Sustainability has changed the way I see things.”

Yesenia is currently the Sustainability Event Coordinator. “I’m kind of the mother hen behind the scenes. I supervise 3-5 interns and am a programming resource for them.” Her interns are responsible for coordinating events like Ecofest, Food Day, and the Tofurkey Feed, and Yesenia is there to help them every step of the way. “I like getting to teach and learn from other students.”

Yesenia is proud of the skills she has developed thanks to the opportunities the Sustainability program has afforded her. She has changed from a timid freshman to an outgoing upperclassman who enjoys public speaking and collaborating with others. And, she has conquered the curse of many college students — time management. “I used to be a procrastinator, but not anymore. I manage time. It doesn’t manage me.” Clearly, she must manage her time well since she has been involved with a variety of campus organizations: Net Impact, Kappa Delta Pi, EOP, and the Premed Association.

Thanks to the world that sustainability has opened to her, Yesenia changed majors and would like to work with a non-profit as an environmental activist. She is interested in water issues and would like the opportunity to educate minorities on environmental issues so they are aware of the potential impact they can make.

In Yesenia’s words:
“I have to be involved to be good in school and that involvement has made me a great networking resource. I like meeting new people.”