College of Education Intern Farewell: Nayeli

Hello, my name is Nayeli Quiroz-Torres. I am majoring in Education, Community, and Organizations (ECO). I chose to be a part of the ECO program because I realized how much I wanted to be a part of educating and supporting students of color. Being a first-generation student, I have experienced many challenges that have made me resilient. I want to be able to provide a safe space for students of color by making them feel understood. 

FamilyWorks was a part of my ECO Capstone requirement. Besides that, I chose to work with FamilyWorks as an education Intern because I saw that their programs helped many children receive an early learning education. A space that helped children stay prepared for their transition into kindergarten. Having experience from volunteering at Neighborhood House, I felt I would be a good fit to work with children between ages 0-5. The food bank was a part of the location. I was excited to learn how the food bank and resources centers worked together to provide families with support and nourishment.

A woman and a child pose while setting up family resource items at a table for distribution. In the background, the Mobile Food Pantry is distributing groceries to neighborhood residents.

Nayeli getting some help arranging items at the resource table from a young volunteer.

During this past year of being a part of the FamilyWorks team, I had so many highlights that I got to experience. My first highlight was being able to create relationships with families at the Bella B mobile homes, where we distributed diapers and food. As a Latina, I was able to identify with a lot of Spanish-speaking families there. The second highlight is learning so many new skills that I never imagined learning during my internship. I learned how to collect data for grants, co-facilitate on zoom playgroups, and how to facilitate Powerful Voices. 

Two kids sit at an activity table at a park with an adult standing between assisting them as they paint and decorate rocks.

Nayeli working with children during a Spanish Playgroup

Being a part of Powerful Voices and playgroups helped me get out of my comfort zone. Powerful Voices was facilitated by Gladys, Rachel, and me. The program was designed for adolescent girls that wanted to learn more about empowering themselves as girls of color. The program was run at the Bella B mobile homes after the food distribution. At first, I was nervous to facilitate. Throughout the sessions, I started to get to know the girls more and build more confidence in instructing. Once playgroups switched to In-person, I felt more comfortable interacting with caregivers and the children. 

 After graduating and leaving behind FamilyWorks I want to continue working with children. I plan to work at a school in Marysville as a teacher for the upcoming school year. My advice for future interns at FamilyWorks is to be open to learning new skills. FamilyWorks has a lot of programs and new ideas for helping families reach their needs. Every day can look different, so be prepared to change your schedule. I enjoyed that I got to try different tasks and projects every week.