Santa Clara University


Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI)

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 Karisma Garcia

Monday, May. 6, 2013

Hi, my name is Karisma Garcia and I am a sophomore at Santa Clara. I am originally from Turlock, a suburb in the central valley of California, and am majoring in finance and political science. I have had the opportunity to work the Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative since this past winter and have found this experience to be enlightening and rewarding.

After several friends shared with me their experiences with this initiative, I was drawn to the opportunity to work with a local community and apply what I was learning in the classroom to a real life situation. In the beginning of winter quarter, our class was given time to explore the Washington neighborhood though a “mini-immersion” excursion to gain a better understanding of the area we would be working in. After meeting with various individuals from both the nearby elementary school and the Center for Employment Training, I quickly learned that the district was a predominant Latino community with a low socioeconomic status. Yet despite hardship, I saw a great sense of connectedness in which the school and center play a large role in facilitating. That day we met with Yolanda Arteaga, the owner of the business we were going to work with, and were able to observe her market. While initially confused on the structure of Yolanda’s Market and our overall direction for the project, I was up for the challenge and knew that we would develop a plan with time.

As a part of the marketing team, we focused on highlighting the restaurant in Yolanda’s market. We collectively felt that the restaurant was her biggest asset and could potentially generate the most revenue. After examining the nearby competition, we began developing a “niche,” or in other words a feature that would make her restaurant unique in comparison to others. In addition, we worked on creating a brand logo and giving her menu a fresh and updated look. This quarter I have been working towards implementing layout changes to the market in order to increase consumer activity and help her maintain a more organized store. 

I have truly enjoyed establishing a relationship with Yolanda as time has progressed and admire her spirit and work ethic. As Yolanda once told me, little by little improvements are being made and I am excited for what the future holds.


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