by Gil Zamora
Gil Zamora has over twelve years’ experience in the non-profit sector. He started as a Jumpstart Corps member at San Francisco State in 2000. Since then, he has worked with family literacy programs, community clinics, and early childhood education programs. He currently works as HealthConnect One’s Development Manager to promote, support, and celebrate the work of community health workers in maternal and child health.
As a Jumpstart alum, I was really excited to hear about the launch of Jumpstart’s new online store and could not wait to get my hands on my new gear for two simple reasons. First, Jumpstart is an amazing organization that is inspiring college students to improve the lives of children throughout the country. And secondly, every item I chose, I wanted or needed!
Here are my Top 3 Reasons Why You Have to Get Your Jumpstart Gear:
1) Every Purchase Counts
When the day-to-day trials get me down, nothing lifts me up like helping others, especially when doing so is as simple as buying a travel coffee mug. Think about it—who doesn’t drink tea or coffee? Instead of feeling guilty with every sip of that much coveted caffeine, you can feel great that the proceeds from your purchase go towards the Jumpstart program. The coffee mug that I got from the Jumpstart store is a constant reminder of a very important time in my life, when I not only helped prepare children living in low income neighborhoods around the Mission District for kindergarten, but I met my best friend while serving, 15 years ago! I can’t wait for her next birthday so that I can get her something special from the Jumpstart store… and Ali, if you’re reading this, act surprised when your Jumpstart swag arrives.
2) Spread the Word
Somewhere in a box in my mom’s house, I know my old Jumpstart hoodie is stored away. I geeked-out when I had the chance to get a brand new one for a few of reasons. First, the new design is beautiful and goes with my necktie-and-hoodie-big-city-motif that I try to rock. Second, it’s an important part of spreading the word about the importance of the work that Jumpstart does. When I wear my hoodie proudly around the city, I hope that people will ask me what Jumpstart is and I hope they won’t be in a rush! And lastly, my new hoodie solved my dilemma of what to wear to the YPB’s Libation for Literacy fundraiser for Jumpstart Chicago on Wednesday, May 4th. For more details, please click here.
As an incoming freshmen 15 years ago, I had no interest in the science and importance of early childhood development. I had much less interest in advocating local and national leaders to address the inequity of supportive early learning. Jumpstart changed all of that. Jumpstart has made me a committed advocate for early childhood and this little red phone charger is a perfect metaphor for the energy Jumpstart infuses its advocates with! Plus, it keeps my phone charged, so I can tweet my support for local and national initiatives so that every child can enter school prepared to succeed.
So with that, you heard it from me first—check out the Jumpstart Store, support the program, help spread the word about the amazing work that Jumpstart continues to do, and of course, be an advocate for early education because every child deserves a fair chance to succeed.