Our Newest Staff Member, Maria Ruiz

I am the newest member at PLC as a Youth Development Facilitator Spanish Specialist. I first joined PLC as an intern in September 2016 through April 2017, then officially became a member of the PLC family June 1, 2017. I graduated in May 2017 with my Bachelor of Social Work and was excited to start my career somewhere where I already knew their mission firsthand and somewhere where I felt welcomed.

During my time as an intern, I was able to get the best of both worlds by engaging with students in schools doing proactive circles and facilitating field trips at PLC. One field trip that stands out to me out of the many I facilitated was a Peace Mentor’s Day. On these days PLC has volunteers come out and facilitate field trips while PLC’s facilitators are there for support. On this day one student was afraid to go downstairs to the lower level to the Be the Change museum. I spoke to him and was able to have him sit by me for that session. Little did I know that he was gravitated to me and stood by my side for the rest of the sessions.

That example made me realize that a small thing to one can be something huge to another. In this instance, the kindergarten student was afraid to go somewhere, but then faced his fear with a little help from me and then stayed with me until we went on a hike. Departure time was a bit difficult because he did not want to leave PLC but I told him what we tell everyone, you are always welcome back to visit.

2017-06-26T14:50:52+00:00

One Comment

  1. Cynthia Jackson June 26, 2017 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    Maria, Another beautiful example of the power of listening to student’s needs and how offering a supportive relationship can make a difference. Simple, yet elegant!

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