Jessica Victoria Valdez Cruz wants to change the world in a positive way. To her, it’s simple: Be kind. Smile. Do the best you can. This 31-year-old doctor has been helping people her entire career, so when she heard about an opportunity to help kids in poverty, she knew she had found her place.
Jessica was offered a job at Children International – Mexico in the community center at Santa Paula, Tonala. Her responsibilities include providing kids with medical care, sure, but Jessica knew that was only part of it. She would also gain greater potential to positively influence others’ lives or, as she describes it, “do her part.”
Now, as part of #TeamCI, Jessica not only helps kids but also draws inspiration from them and their families. She has developed a bond of trust with them and gained true admiration for them. “You can be filled with inspiration when you see the neediest families looking for ways to get ahead and benefit from all the tools at their disposal to achieve it,” she says. Experiencing the reality of life in marginalized communities has given her a new appreciation for her own life and opportunities.
Jessica says she especially is grateful that CI has given her the opportunity to plant a seed in the community. She enjoys teaching healthy habits to those who come to the office. Children who visit her office are excited to tell her that they washed their hands or simply want to share any accomplishment. As the mother of a 1-year-old boy, she knows how important it is for kids to have someone to share in the celebration of even the small victories.
“You do the best you can, from the little things that do not seem to be relevant — such as a smile.”
One of the people she most admires is Don Oscar, a CI transportation driver, because he is a person who always has a smile to share, always shows a positive side and radiates light. She describes him as a person who spreads optimism.
“I think to unleash the power of (every)ONE means that you make the best of yourself; you do the best you can, from the little things that do not seem to be as relevant — such as a smile, kindness and values — and it spreads to all aspects of your life,” Jessica says. “I think that has a lot of power to change any scenario for the best.”