Power of ONE: Chance encounter becomes transformative experience

Yolanda Anzora is a grant requirements assistant at CI in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Originally from El Salvador, Yolanda Anzora has called Little Rock, Arkansas, home since 1995. Yolanda first learned about Children International at an unexpected place — school. She was tutoring at the Language Lab in the Department of Second Languages at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). A chance encounter with a student there turned her experience as a tutor into a fulfilling position with #TeamCI.

When she found out she could use her language expertise and work with families in need, she knew it would be a good fit. Clearly, she'd found her niche. Now, Yolanda works as a grant requirements assistant for CI.

Here, she shares some details of her experiences.

How did you get involved with CI?

One morning I heard a student telling her class about a job opening at Children International. I didn't think much of it at first, but then she said you must be able to speak Spanish. That got my attention! The student told me the position would be helping low-income families in need. It sounded like the perfect match for my linguistic studies and social-work studies.

I got involved for two reasons: There was a need for a Spanish-speaking employee, and I thought that was a great way to help because my studies gave me the skills. Also, I'm passionate about helping people in need.

What has been your favorite CI experience?

Getting to know the families and being the bridge between the Spanish-speaking families and the agency. Overall, the families are very appreciative. You can tell they are genuine and very thankful for what we do. They feel that we care! That's my favorite part.

In what surprising way has being involved with CI changed your life?

CI has shown me how a nonprofit works. I didn't have that much background in business or knowledge of how a nonprofit works, so this was all new to me being a linguistics major minoring in social work. This nonprofit has shown me just how important my job is and makes me want to try to help more.

Tell me about one person who has had a big impact on your life.

One person in particular is Dr. Erin Finzer of the Division of International and Second Language Studies at UALR, who is now a partner with UALR CI. She was once my instructor but now has become my support and mentor as I continue standing in the gap between CI and our Hispanic families.

She currently gives me information, resources and skills that I can use as a sponsor relations representative.

What does the phrase “unleash the power of (every)ONE” mean to you?

“ONE” means one person is unique; “unleash the power” means to empower. Together, I think it means that everyone has to pass on what you know to empower each other.

Keeping information and resources to myself does me no good. I have to pass on what I know to unlock someone else’s potential. That’s what I know!

Children International staff member Yolanda in the library

Yolanda loves getting to know the families she works with.

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