1st Year Fellow Series: Adelita Aguirre’s Lessons for Supporting Community
By Adelita Aguirre
I have a passion for working with at-risk youth and have done so in both academic and community volunteer settings. Through my work, I have learned some necessary skills to support at-risk communities including: a need for genuine curiosity; desire to learn; respect for others; empathy and an eagerness to serve.
During my time volunteering for two different high school counseling offices, I saw a stark difference in the ways counselors and staff interacted with students at each school. In the high school with a higher at-risk youth population, staff took a trauma informed approach while counselors with the lower population of at risk youth had greater focus on post-secondary life and academics.
I learned that the people that I aspire to serve do not need me to be a well-dressed, flaw-free individual. They need me to be an approachable, grounded and imperfect human who is ready to tune into their joys just as much as their struggles and who asks how I can better serve and assist them.
My volunteer roles showed me that it is important to listen, observe and ask questions. It is easy to step into a role and make assumptions about the needs of others, but not everyone’s needs are the same and not all of those needs can be addressed in the same way. Through trial and error, genuine curiosity, a desire to learn, a respect for others, empathy and an eagerness to assist, I am able to better understand and serve differing communities.
Adelita Aguirre joined El Pomar Foundation as a member of the 2020 Fellowship Class. As a Fellow, Adelita works on Communications, Fellowship Recruiting, Superintendents Leadership Endowment and the Karl E. Eitel Fund. In addition, Adelita supports the High Country Region. Read more about Adelita here.