Vanessa Vasquez

Major: Psychology
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Class: Senior
Program Position: English Learners (EL) Connections Coordinator | CAVE

How did you first get connected with Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE)?
Being a transfer student, I was aware that my time here was limited. I wanted to get involved as much as I could. I attended Summer Orientation, and there I was informed about all the campus organizations, but the one that stood out the most was CAVE. So I turned in my application and from there my life changed!

How would you describe your role as EL Coordinator with CAVE?
One thing about me is that I am a very passionate individual. Being a coordinator for the EL Connections program has allowed for me to share that passion through leading this program forward. The English Learners Program helps out children from K-8th grade who have English as a second language. Volunteers work one-on-one with the children by translating certain assignments and helping them become more social. Most importantly, volunteers are there to be the support and encouragement that the child needs in order to be successful in school.

What does working for CAVE do for you personally, professionally, or academically?
Working for CAVE has been a great honor and has opened lots of doors for me. On a professional level, CAVE has taught me how to communicate and make connections. For example, I learned how to send out professional emails to professors and have gained the confidence to talk to them on a one to one basis. CAVE has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and encourage me to go beyond my limits. The staff has influenced me a lot as well. They are great examples of what I can potentially be when I get older. I personally am learning a lot about what is out there in the community and how much potential I have.

What do YOU bring to the table in your role as the EL Connections Coordinator at CAVE?
I bring my passion and dedication to the table. EL Connections is more than just a program to me. If it weren’t for programs like this, I would not be where I am now. As a child, Spanish was my only language and a mentor came into my life and supported me. CAVE has given me the opportunity to give back to the community by helping out children who are in need of a mentor. I want to share my passion and create leaders who will continue to move this program and community forward.

What are your career plans and how does your job with the Associated StudentsĀ better prepare you for that path?
I was admitted to the Higher Education Master’s program at the University of Denver. This will be my next step after I graduate with my BA this May. Being a coordinator for CAVE has allowed me to grow as an individual, and has given me a taste of what I want to do in my future. Being able to help out a population in need has taught me so much about how important it is to promote diversity on our campus and in our community in general.