Katella Silva: Starting the Year Off Strong
Starting in my role as a Fund Development fellow with the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley (HFSV), I immediately hit the ground running with one of our biggest events of the year: the Hispanic Foundation Celebration. The 32nd annual (and 2nd virtual) iteration of this event was an amazing opportunity for the Hispanic community and its supporters to convene and to hear directly from the people that HFSV programs benefit. Hearing from a parent who participated in the Foundation's Parent Education Academy was especially moving because it showed how the entire family influences their child’s views and opportunities on education.
My first task as a fellow was creating the program for the event. This was the perfect first project because it gave me the opportunity to acquaint myself with all of the Foundation’s programs, to interact with the staff when compiling resources, and to familiarize myself with our corporate sponsors and how the Foundation stewards them. I enjoy how independent I am able to be in the work I do. Everyone on the team is super responsive and helpful anytime I need anything, but I appreciate the high level of autonomy I have been given to complete projects thus far.
I am already learning so much about the Hispanic community of Silicon Valley and the barriers that many Latinx folks face in regard to gaining access to education and opportunities, particularly in STEM related fields. There is a huge discrepancy in the percentage of Hispanic people in the Silicon Valley and the percentage of Hispanic people working in the tech industry. The HFSV programs aim to help close this gap. Hearing from students and parents at the Hispanic Foundation Celebration helped humanize the data I had seen about the success of the Foundation's programs. The work the HFSV does has a real impact on real people. I am so excited to continue to be a part of making this impact and to see how the Foundation grows throughout this year.