MEDA November 2014 Volunteer of the Month: Laura Ospina Jaramillo

Laura Ospina Jaramillo-BlogEach month, the Mission Economic Development Agency honors one of its dedicated volunteers—the people who are an integral part of MEDA’s ability to provide free services to low- and moderate-income Bay Area residents. Thanks to all of the selfless MEDA volunteers who choose Plaza Adelante as their second home. 

Name: Laura Ospina Jaramillo
Program: Asset Building Programs

Why did you decide to volunteer with MEDA?
I’ve always been passionate about helping those with fewer opportunities than I have had. Having come from Colombia only a few years ago, I still feel very connected to Latino communities and would like to preserve that connection. So, right after I moved to San Francisco about a year ago, I started to look for organizations that helped the Latino community. After a few months and some time in the Mission, I decided that I wanted to find a way to get involved with an organization interested in helping people living in such a vibrant neighborhood. This is how I found MEDA, right at the intersection of my interest in helping others and a great neighborhood.

What projects have you worked on as a volunteer?
I have helped the Financial Capability program with such different projects as setting appointments with their clients and updating their credit information. I have also helped the Asset Building program gather information to facilitate their different programs’ internal reviews. Recently, I helped by updating information of clients that are part of an ongoing Secure Credit Card project.

What do you like best about volunteering at MEDA?
It did not take me long to notice that the MEDA team is truly concerned about the well-being of the community.  Plus, everyone here is really nice, so it is easy to stick around.

What have you learned from your volunteer experience?
Every time I go to MEDA, I learn something new. Although, the most significant has been realizing the importance of self-evaluation as a method to reach excellence.

Tell us something we may not know about you. Any interesting facts you’d like to share about your life?
I love salsa music! Both dancing and just listening. Also, I only recently started eating fruits, even though I grew up surrounded by a vast variety of great quality fruits. I just thought the texture was gross! How weird is that?

Looking to join a great cause, too? Find out how to volunteer at MEDA. We hope you can join us!

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