Hi everyone! I am beyond excited to be the new Local Service Director for Youthlinc. I couldn’t be happier in this new position and I can’t wait to meet everyone and work with you through all of your local service and international experiences!
I want to give you a little background on my life, who I am, and where my personal joy in service started. I am the oldest of 6 children, born in southern California and raised in Sandy, Utah. The family has since moved to Minnesota so I guess I have a little Minnesotan in me too 🙂 . I attended Juan Diego Catholic High School and I think that is where my love for service really began. My family had always participated in service projects while growing up but in high school were required to complete a set amount of service hours every semester, not unlike Youthlinc requires a certain amount of hours be completed by our students. My sophomore year I completed over 100 hours of service and had such a great time volunteering as a counselor at summer camp, working at the 2002 Olympics, and serving at the Utah Food Bank.
After high school I attended the University of Utah and graduated with a B.A. in International Studies and Sociology. During that time I worked at the Lied Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salt Lake which was an amazing experience. I completed my international internship with the International Refugee Committee in Salt Lake City and did my study abroad in Oviedo, Spain. I was involved with UNICEF RED, a campus initiative group and assisted in starting up the Student Orphan Aid Program. My sorority, Pi Beta Phi, also kept me involved in service through our national Links to Literacy project. All of these experiences sparked my interest in this link between local and international service. After graduation I started trying to find a way to incorporate all of these experience into the next step of my life which ended up leading me to Youthlinc.
I was introduced to Youthlinc by my sister Olivia who was a student on the 2009 Mexico team. She came home with some amazing stories and as she explained the program I couldn’t believe how well it matched everything that I always thought service could be. I knew I wanted my own Youthlinc experience so… I made it happen. I was a mentor on the 2010 Thailand team and headed up the Cultural Exchange Committee. That trip made a huge impact on my life. I fell in love with the Youthlinc program and had the most amazing time with the students on that trip. I was incredibly impressed by the passion and willingness to serve that came from everyone on that team. I am so lucky to be able to continue to work with Youthlinc and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to do what I love full time!
I am going to give this position as the Local Service Director my all and I will being trying my hardest to fill the big shoes that the wonderful Ellie Nazzal has left for me. Please know that I am here and willing to help with anything involved in your Youthlinc experience! I’m excited to meet everyone and really get going. Thank you for all of your patience and support!