Jesus Madrigal – Riverside City College

Jesus Madrigal – Student Interview ’24

Immigration Legal Services Pathway Fellowship Graduate – Riverside City College

We had the pleasure of interviewing Jesus Madrigal on their experience in our CYLC learn-and-earn career pathway. They were a student fellow in Community Action Leadership Academy (CALA) at Riverside City College (RCC). Learn more about his experience in our CYLC program and his future goals in further providing support and advocating for historically marginalized individuals in his local community.

In what ways did this fellowship experience contribute to your personal and professional growth, and how do you envision yourself applying the skills you have acquired into your local community?

The fellowship allowed me to devote time to developing the skills and experience to pursue a career in social work. The fellowship connected me to an excellent internship and ensured that the time I devoted to it would not jeopardize my financial stability.

Tell us about a moment or accomplishment during your fellowship that you are particularly proud of. How did it contribute to the goals of the organization or project you were involved in?

I was part of the team that developed, organized, and facilitated an emotional maturity workshop for those recently released from incarceration. Emotional health is an important component of re-entry that is often overlooked, and I was proud to help the organization in pursuit of a holistic approach to integration.

What are your plans for the future? In reflecting on your fellowship, what key lessons or insights did you gain, and how do you plan to apply these learning’s in your future endeavors or career path? For example, are you excited about starting a new job/career in your field, and or continuing school?

I plan to apply to MSW programs in the fall.  I hope to one day found my own non-profit. The fellowship has not only given me the opportunity to get experience necessary to further my professional goals, but it also, through my peers in the fellowship, exposed me to the workings of other non-profits,  an experience that would not have been possible if I had simply joined an internship as an individual.

Can you tell us how we did as an organization and partner at your school? What would you improve, what did you like, and what advice would you give to future participants? How can they maximize their learning and make the most of their hands-on opportunities within an organization?

The organization did a wonderful job in connecting us to the internships that fit our goals and experience and supported us as we found our bearing in the first weeks at our organizations. If I could add anything, it would have been more opportunities to spend time with my peers in the fellowship – perhaps more events or a spring semester class – that could help with community building and networking.

Can you share your social justice origin story? What drives you to do the work in creating social change in your local community?

I do not know when the precise moment came in which I decided to commit myself to social justice and social change. But I do know that at some point in my life I came to believe that only being of service to others can I live a meaningful life.

What are some of the most pressing issues that need to be addressed in your local community and in society?

Housing insecurity, economic inequality, and environmental calamity require urgent and grand solutions in California. In Riverside, building a more extensive resource network and as well as institutions that foster a greater sense of community is in dire need.