Alejandra Departs for UC Davis Law
I remember my first day at Valley Vision clearly; I was experiencing an array of emotions, but I was mostly excited to be working for an organization with values so closely aligned to mine. Valley Vision seeks to provide solutions to issues at the center of communities that are often marginalized. I’ve personally experienced dealing with some of these issues, coming from a family that once resided in Sierra Vista, a low-income public housing community located in Stockton, being a first-generation college graduate and a proud daughter of immigrant parents. The narrative behind all these pieces that have shaped me are often viewed as adverse indicators to my potential, but that perception is only validated if institutional barriers are allowed to exist. I am proud to report that at my time at Valley Vision I’ve had the pleasure of working on projects at the community level, such as School2Home at Leataata Floyd Elementary, that have a goal of addressing barriers I am so passionate about. This is the work that needs to be done to provide communities with not only an equal pathway, but more importantly, one that is equitable.
While simultaneously working on community centered projects, I was fortunate to work alongside a great group of people at Valley Vision. They constantly supported me, showed me what having a strong work ethic looks like, and provided me with mentorship that is extremely valuable. A majority of my projects allowed me to work alongside Managing Director Trish Kelly and Portfolio Manager Tammy Cronin. Both have inspired me with their ability to effectively connect resources across the community, ultimately making a greater impact. Trish and Tammy, along with the rest of the Valley Vision team, also supported me in ways that are critical for my growth and development as a young professional. In addition, being surrounded by women who wear many hats, including that of a mom (whether that be to their dog-children or human-children) and wife, day-in and day-out and seeing they key roles they play to Valley Vision and the region has been particularly inspiring. As a minority woman, I will do my best to serve as a mentor and as a motivational source to women who come after me, like those at Valley Vision have wonderfully done so.
As I begin my next chapter as a law student at UC Davis, I enter this new, somewhat intimidating, chapter with a certain level of confidence thanks to Valley Vision. I learned that true success comes from an innate desire to make things better. While I am still unsure of which type of law I will practice, or where my law degree will take me, I am positive that no matter where I go I will allow for my success to be driven by my desire to improve conditions for people and make things better.
Alejandra Gallegos was a Project Associate at Valley Vision contributing to the Clean Economy and Healthy Communities strategies.