Meet Veronica Reeder

She is balancing college classes while being a STEAM coordinator at Sociedad Latina; meet Veronica Reeder

By Amisha Kumar

Veronica has worked in education for over eight years at multiple non-profit organizations like the YMCA and Outward Bound before joining Sociedad Latina. Her own experience as a student led to her working in the field of education today.

“I was a very different child than I am now. I personally did not like school, did not find the experience enjoyable at all,” said Veronica.

She mentioned that she struggled to make it through school because she didn’t understand the system or know how to access and use the resources required to succeed. This is one of the reasons she is training to be an educator.

“I want to kinda help the students who are like me, you know,” she said.

She works at Sociedad because she believes empowering Latin@ youth and providing them with the tools to succeed in the future is crucial for the community and everyone’s success.

In addition to her role at Sociedad Latina, Veronica is a college student. Originally she was skeptical about attending college and struggled to understand the value, which she attributes to being one of the first people in her family to attend college Veronica shared that she thankfully had great mentors who encouraged her to go to college, where she is now studying Social Work.

Balancing being a coordinator with her college workload is challenging, but there is a symbiotic relationship between the two.

“I think working with Sociodead has helped motivate me to do better in school and to continue my work in school because I’ve gotten to see the direct impact that I can have on others,” said Veronica.

There are a lot of things her work at the organization teaches her; she mentioned organizational skills being one of the most important things she learned.

“Something I’ve learned from our supervisor Angelica is that organization is key, in non-profit and organizations in general,” she said.

Organization not just with work at Sociedad but also with the youth. According to Veronica, consistency and organization are two of the most important things for success with students.

Developing meaningful relationships with students also plays a large role in being a STEAM coordinator, as it allows for forming a foundation of trust with the youth.

Despite being virtual this year, Veronica had some very authentic conversations, which built meaningful relationships.

“I remember the first time this youth joined us virtually, and they asked if they could like meet with me in a breakout room and talk to me… While it is like a small example, it’s impactful because the youth was able to open up to me about some issues at home, and it was really wonderful,” said Veronica.

This is undoubtedly Veronica’s favorite part of her job.

“I love the relationships I get to build with the youth, especially when they enjoy the activities and see like that light go on in their eyes when they’re like, ‘this is cool,’ ” she said.

Veronica’s way of building trust with the youth relies mainly on listening. She believes that listening and understanding different situations the youth face is the greatest method to offer support and connect with students because it is not possible to have shared every experience.

Veronica is equally passionate about individual students as she is about studying and training as an educator.

“It’s the little moments of trust that really make the job amazing,” said Veronica.

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