Alumni Spotlight: Henry Galdamez

Henry Galdamez

Development Administrative Assistant

Jumpstart Alumni 2015-2018

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What brought you to Jumpstart?

Henry: I first heard about Jumpstart as a Freshman in college while attending a career fair. I wanted to pursue something that was different and unrelated to my computer science major or an office setting. When I saw Jumpstart, it was literally the best option due largely to the fact that I would be traveling outside of campus, meeting kids, and being a kid again myself.

Tell us a little about your experience as a Jumpstart Corps Member. What was interesting/meaningful about your service?

Henry: My experience as a Corps Member truly brought out the inner child within myself and shaped how I communicate and interact with children nowadays and the love I have for them. The most interesting part about being a Corps Member was recording the kids’ progress. I remember my first day meeting a kid who could not speak English very well. English was her second language but by the end of the year, she could communicate very well and form sentences and phrases. Seeing the kids’ development and progress was the most meaningful and interesting part of being a Corps Member.

Given that you served more than 1 year as a Corps Member, what motivated you to return and continue serving as a Corps Member?

Henry: Well, my first year was largely exploratory, just getting to know what the program was about and what my day-to-day activities and duties would be, however, I quickly became affectioned towards the kids that I was serving. I felt that I was a part of their family and their day-to-day life at school. I was interacting with their parents, being an accessible mediator between the teacher and the institution, and teaching the kids myself as well, and watching their growth and progression. All of this combined really led to my return as Corps Member but also led me into other roles such as a Team Leader and Site Manager Assistant.

How has the Jumpstart Corps Member experience shaped your personal and professional life?

Henry: It has played a big role in my life. It shifted my outlook on my major (Computer Science) and how I could use it to teach kids about Technology and explore what Technology offers kids. I have placed child-centric ideas at the center of my life and career. I myself have a sister who at the time of my service as a Corps Member was 5-years old, so I was putting all these concepts and knowledge I was gaining on-site towards how to better teach my sister and how to approach future life if I ever had children.

Is there any advice you would like to give new or considering Corps Members?

Henry: I would say that it is always fun to explore new things and Jumpstart’s Corps Member program is one of the best work-study programs.  Not only are students earning their work-study but also earning networking opportunities, on-site service within their communities, and being a part of a great mission of getting kids to their next level and closing the achievement gap.

 

 

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