Greetings! My name is Manny Salazar. Being born and raised in Tucson, Arizona I attended Sunnyside High School. Then, after high school, I attended Pima Community College for the first two years of my undergrad as a Liberal Arts and Human Resources major. From Pima Community College I transferred to Northern Arizona University (NAU) where I completed a 90-30 Bachelors’ program with a focus in Public Administration. Boy, did that 90-30 program help me stay away from student debt!

Anyhow, around this “transfer” time is when I met former AmeriCorps member Joi Stirrup. Joi encouraged me to apply as an AmeriCorps member serving as the Pima Community College Liaison since I was a recent Pima Community College graduate and could provide fresh and recent experiences. Still a bit unfamiliar with AmeriCorps I decided to apply. After all the employing formalities I was
offered the AmeriCorps Member position as the Pima Community College Liaison. Now, two years later, looking back, becoming an AmeriCorps State Member and serving as the Pima Community College Liaison is one of the best opportunities I have taken advantage of.

Growing up and being from the Tucson area, it was an instant and easy connection to assist and serve students and families. Likewise, I learned that there is an abundance of untapped potential in prospective college students throughout the Tucson community. Their only demand was for more positive and supportive influences. Moreover, not only has being an AmeriCorps State Member provided intrinsic incentives by guiding new prospective college students. Being an AmeriCorps State Member has also provided me with lifelong friendships with individuals from diverse backgrounds and upbringings, all with the common goal to help others overcome difficult
and adverse situations.

Furthermore, serving as an AmeriCorps member also holds its extrinsic incentives such as continuing my higher education through educational awards and service stipends. Nevertheless, one of my favorite motivation and projects with AmeriCorps is assisting
in the “Pima Day” event. This year during the month of February I served in the inaugural “Pima Day” at Catalina High School. During this Inaugural Pima Day, we helped connect more than 200 bright Catalina students with multiple departments from Pima Community College such as the Honors College, Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG), Pima College Health Related Professions (HRP), the Applied Science Department, the Financial Aid Department and Job Path.

In addition, the Pima Community College Department of Marketing was generous enough to provide lunch for all the representatives from Pima Community College as well as counselors and instructors from Catalina High School who assisted in organizing and achieving this event. As you can see, becoming an AmeriCorps State Member and serving as the Pima Community College Liaison has definitely been one of the most enjoyable experiences!