In Mi Casa’s Career Center, volunteers play a critical role in helping community job seekers build their resumes, find work, and develop important networking and interviewing skills. Desiree Herrera, a student at the Community College of Denver (CCD), has been a committed and faithful volunteer in the Career Center since January 2011, donating more than 90 hours of service to the organization. A Denver native, she grew up in the Westwood neighborhood, and her background was fundamental in developing her passion for people. As a Latina, she felt that opportunities were denied to her mother and herself because of her race, as well as her socioeconomic status. “It was a double-edged sword; the poverty jokes and the racism. When I realized that there were programs that could help people get out of poverty, it hit really close to home.”
Desiree’s first encounter with Mi Casa came from a friend of hers, who graduated from Mi Casa’s Bilingual Bank Teller program. This graduate told Desiree that Mi Casa was her “only salvation when all other doors closed on her.” Desiree then decided to start volunteering in the Career Center. She loves to work with such a diverse population here at Mi Casa, and finds helping individuals find jobs to be extremely rewarding work: “I love hearing the sound of a client’s voice on the phone when they finally get a job – they always sound like they’re jumping for joy, and I love that.”
Desiree is currently studying Human Services, and hopes to transfer to Metropolitan State College of Denver after graduating from CCD in May 2012, in order to pursue studies in criminology, as well as drug and alcohol abuse counseling. She is incredibly passionate about giving back to her community. Advancing economic prosperity for the family is not only Mi Casa’s mission, but also what Desiree would like to accomplish through her career. Desiree’s commitment to the organization is truly admirable, and Mi Casa is grateful for her willingness to give her time and energy to help community members find employment.