Name: Mary Cruz
Major: Politics & Latin American Studies
Organization: Mission Graduates
Site Supervisor: Jenna Casey
I am originally from Santa Monica, California. Last year, I served as the president of the Esther Madriz Diversity Scholars program on campus, which focuses on creating student activists through education and social justice. I have also been an active member of Latinas Unidas, a culturally-focused club on campus that emphasizes Latina empowerment and outreach to the Latino community. I am excited to continue to serve the club next year as Social Chair of its executive board. Outside of USF, I am currently interning for La Raza Centro Legal, a community-based legal organization in the Mission dedicated to empowering Latino, immigrant and low-income communities of San Francisco to advocate for their civil and human rights. I am particularly interested in working with immigration rights and immigration reform. Growing up as a daughter of two immigrant parents, being first generation to attend college, and having friends who are currently undocumented has been a motivating factor in what I see myself doing in the future. My family and community have served as a reminder of the sacrifices immigrants make in order to have a better life. That is why I hope to pursue a career in immigration law and immigrant rights. I am excited to work with Mission Graduates to continue building my relationship with the San Francisco community and also extending my knowledge and experience by providing mentorship to the youth of the Mission community.
Name: Esmeralda Garcia
Major: Sociology and Latin American Studies
Organization: Opportunity Impact
Site Supervisor: Tiffany Wheeler
My hometown is Menlo Park, but I am originally from Redwood City. In my free time, I like to go for runs, read, cook, and dance; I really love to dance! One of my interests is working with younger students, which is why I am very excited to be working with the youth at Opportunity Impact and to learn more about the organization.
In the past I have worked and volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club here in the city and back at home. And currently I am interning with Spark here in San Francisco. I have a lot of experience with office work, and hands-on work with middle school and high school students. I personally really enjoy working with youth because they are creative, energetic, and anything is possible with them.
Name: Joseph (Joey) Jordan
Phone: (781) 771-5742
Organization: Family House
Site Supervisor: Karen Banks
With my degree I hope to enter the field of social work and eventually pursue a MSW at some point after I complete my undergraduate degree. I am originally from Boston, Massachusetts, but currently in love with my new home in San Francisco. I am so fascinated with everything the city has to offer, including the beautiful parks, the diverse population, and of course the famous cable cars. I hope to stay in California even after I graduate. I currently work two jobs. My first job is the ACE position, where I worked with Project Open Hand last year, a nonprofit in downtown San Francisco that serves "meals with love" to people living with critical illnesses, such as HIV/AIDS and breast cancer. There I mainly work in the Grocery Center, where I am given the opportunity to interact directly with the clients we serve, in addition to assisting them receive nourishing and healthy meals. My other job is teaching weekly Zumba Fitness classes at USF, where classes can reach up to 70 people. Teaching high-impact cardio classes is a lot of fun, and I find it very rewarding to be able to help motivate and support my students maintain a healthy lifestyle.
This summer I will be participating in the McCarthy Center's Global Service-Learning Fellowship program in Udaipur, India, where I will intern with a local nonprofit for 10 weeks, reside with a host family, and help create a sustainable development project for the community.
Name: Charlie Kain-Williams
Major: Entrepreneurship Innovation
Phone: (415) 305 3325
Organization: Meals on Wheels
Site Supervisor: Danie Belfield
It is my plan to start my own business upon graduating. I love being active and participate in many outdoors sports. I play rugby at USF and also love surfing, freediving and gymnastics. All or my work experience has been blue collar hands-on work like carpentry and masonry so I look forward to a job which requires a different type of professionalism.
Name: Kim Kollwitz
Phone: (928) 277-5450
Organization: Generation Citizen
Site Supervisor: Emily Falk
My interest is in public service and government. After my ten-week internship this summer in Udaipur, India with the Institute of Local Self-Government and Responsible Citizenship, I'm hoping that I'll have gained more practical skills in Asset-Based Community Development.
I'm experienced in working with students, having been a student leader and mentor for three years with the national afterschool program Girl Talk, as well as being a Democracy Coach at Generation Citizen this past semester. I'm currently working with a group of high school seniors at Abraham Lincoln and helping them to address the issue of food waste in their school.
In my free time, I love to explore and be involved in my community. As of last fall, I'm new to San Francisco, but I've made a point to attend local events and get to know the life and communities of the people in this wonderful, diverse city. Thanks to my fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, you can often find me volunteering in the Castro with humane societies or at a fun run in the Candlestick on the weekends.
Name: Amanda Mitchell
Major: Theology & Religious Studies/ Psychology; PSCE Minor
Organization: Upward Bound
Site Supervisor: Darlene Conwell
Name: Dylan Moore
Phone: (847) 702-0207
Organization: Bayview/Hunters Point YMCA
Site Supervisor: Celestino Ellington
I'm a freshman student at USF. I'm a psychology major with a focus on gender psychology with interests in public health and education. In the past my service work has involved working in shelters for battered women or displaced families. Recently, I've been working in the tenderloin at the Raphael House family shelter tutoring high school and middle school students. I have spent some time in Bayview earlier in the school year doing a project on the health resources available for children in the neighborhood.
Name: Maria Poyer
Major: Environmental Science
Phone: (408) 839-5425
Site Supervisor: Jessica Torres
This will be my third year as an ACE and previously I have been a partner at Saint Anthony's Foundation, and most recently Meals on Wheels. Beginning as a Martin Baro Scholar, a living-learning community founded on public service at USF, I have been actively engaged in learning and service the SF community.
Name: Alexis Stanley
Phone: (480) 201-3893
Site Supervisor: Sasha Mungal
I am majoring in Sociology with an emphasis on Race & Ethnicity and minor in Latin American Studies. I was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. Some of my interests include going to Pow-Wows on the Navajo Reservation and other reservations on the West Coast. I am obsessed with my English Bulldog named Prosciutto.
Name: Monique Taylor
Phone: (206) 280-9613
Organization: African American Shakespeare Company
Site Supervisor: Sherri Young
I am entering my Senior year at USF as an advertising major. I am also minoring in both design and dance. I have a lot of experience working in the community, particularly with minority youth via my work with Magic Zone and through a club on campus, Sister Connection, that I am currently the president of. My experiences with these two organizations focused on project management, event planning, facilitating conversation, and tutoring. I am also very interested in the arts, any and all kinds of art. Post-graduation I hope to continue working in the community by applying the marketing/advertising skills (as well as graphic design and dance if applicable) that I learned in college to promote positive change.
Name: Katie Thaxton-Elkins
Organization: Episcopal Community Services
Site Supervisor: Mallory Hasick
I am originally from the Bay Area. Most of my experience in regards to service has been with children and education. For all of high school I tutored at my public library and am now currently working at the Tenderloin Community School with America Reads. I am also in a service class at school where I work closely with the children of the Raphael House, a transitional home for formerly homeless families. However, most of the students I have worked with have experienced homelessness and/or poverty, so it is important for me to learn more about the struggles of surmounting these obstacles head on rather than just through the classroom.
How do you determine which organizations are ACE host organizations?
The host organizations for the ACE program are organizations that have participated in the McCarthy Center’s Community Partner Service-Learning Seminar. This seminar is offered twice a year to give community partners the tools to be effective co-educators in a service-learning experience. After partners participate, they can apply to host an ACE for the upcoming year. We select ACE host sites from the applicants we receive.
If I’m hired as an ACE, do I get to pick my own host organization?
We do try to give ACE finalists a sense of the organizations that will need ACEs. We also ask you to share the social issues you are passionate about, the skills you are bringing, and the knowledge you would like to gain. Ultimately, McCarthy Center staff aligns those factors with the needs of the organization and the supervisor’s style to determine the best fit for ACEs and ACE host sites.
Should I still apply for the program even though I’m only available for one semester and not the whole year?
Yes, please still apply for the program but be sure to indicate which semester you will be gone. Sometimes we have current ACEs who plan to study abroad or graduate in December, so you may still be eligible.