Victoria Gamez – Fresno City College

Victoria Gamez – Student Interview ’24

Community Change at CYLC-Fresno City College – Student Fellow

We had the pleasure of interviewing Victoria Gamez on her experience in our CYLC learn-and-earn career pathway. They are a student fellows in our Community Change Program at Fresno City College. Learn more about her experience in our program and her future goals providing support and advocacy for historically marginalized individuals in her 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 experiences I have gotten to learn where there are resources that are able to help. Especially the program at Fresno Metro,  there have a lot of resource programs that can help. I was able to learn about different programs that helped many different communities.  One of them were Food to Share. One of the ladies donated multiple snacks that helped my kids the mornings before their lunch got there.

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?

One accomplishment was finding different resources that helped me focus on getting for my community. I was able to take a drive with different people and see the outcomes of helping school sites.

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?

My plan for the future is to be an Elementary school teacher and sports coach. And of course keep running my program. In my fellowship I hope to gain more contacts that can contribute into my future. With my career I plan on using these sources to help gain access to serve more in my community.  And eventually pass this on to someone who would like to get back to the community too. I am excited to keep learning and building more into my future career. 

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?

This organization has many programs and places depending on your experiences. It gave us an open eye to take on more with working within communities . Advice I would give is that don’t look at it as work but an opportunity for you to get your feet wet. Even if it’s a little out of your comfort zone, it builds character. With this program being hands on it gives more opportunities to learn not only just see on paper or a website . You are actually there in person getting to see the ins and outs of what is happening in a community . Also, a chance to see what you can take and take to your own community.

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

The kids, the next generation drive me to want to do more. Since 2016 I have been a site lead for Every neighborhood partnership Saturday sports program. This program is green space area where kids in the community can come play and be together. I started this program once as a kid when I was in 3rd grade. I prayed about it and came across the CEO of the company and he told me to find a team and it’s mine. I was 17 years old not sure if I can do it but my family supported me through it. Through it all I have been running it for years. My main focus was sports but I added arts and craft projects too. As my position I decided to do more for the community.  I started hosting carnivals where the community can come out and enjoy time with their families. Me and my family post on Facebook getting donations so the community can have free food, activities  and more. It’s been 1 way that has touched to give back me my community.  I grew up in the area and went to school at the school site I run the program too. Also, work at the same school that I do the program.

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

Most pressing issues is food insecurities.  Many of these children come because they know I will feed them something. Also, in the community not having a park’s nearby and everything always being locked. As a kid, there was never a place I could play or hang with friends.