Teddy SantaMaria has served as an AmeriCorps member through its Opportunity Youth program, in partnership with Goodwill’s Skill-Up program. Born and raised in Tucson, Teddy has served four separate terms with Arizona Serve, three through 300-hour positions and their fourth as a 900-hour Team Leader.

The Four Terms

Their first 300-hour term was at the Woods Library, where they worked on event planning and coordination, helped clients with computer and job-seeking services, as well as many other small projects in which the library saw fit.

Teddy followed with a second 300-hour term at the Goodwill Metro office doing marketing work and helping facilitate collaboration between the office and the Tucson police department. This was followed by another 300-hour term at Tucson Clean and Beautiful, a local non-profit that works “ to preserve and improve our environment, conserve natural resources, and enhance quality of life in the City of Tucson and eastern Pima County.” The position allowed Teddy to use their skills by doing marketing, graphic design, and artwork. 

Teddy then used their experience to become a 900-hour Team Lead for the Opportunity Youth cohort. The first part of their leadership role took place at PMHDC Southwest Medical Aid (PSMA), a Tucson non-profit that provides medical equipment and medical supplies free of charge to qualified charitable organizations for their clientele. There, Teddy helped manage their warehouse, create fundraising cards, and ensured that the other Skill-Up members got both their job tasks and administrative work done. Teddy then shifted to Eon Youth Lounge, a program of the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation that serves LGBTQIA+ youth ages 13-24. Here Teddy does graphic design and event work.

Teddy feels that they have gained many skills. Of note, they developed confidence in doing many different jobs, public speaking and interpersonal communication skills, and as a leader. Looking forward, Teddy wants to continue working in the non-profit sector and eventually wants to be in management. 

What About You?

Wondering what to do after high school? Looking for for skill development and networking opportunities, like Teddy? Serving as an AmeriCorps member through Arizona Serve could be the right thing for you! 

Or do you want to grow your non-profit with eager help? Or want to be a part of developing the young workforce? Hosting an Arizona Serve member through Goodwill Skill-Up might be the right start for you!