Guest Writer: Matt Davies, Board of Directors
Alejandra Saldaña is living proof that Jubilee’s programs have a significant impact on the lives of those who participate in them. When she joined the Jubilee staff last year, it was truly a “homecoming.” Alejandra grew up in the neighborhood and, while she was a student at O. M. Roberts Elementary School, participated in Jubilee’s after-school programming. After O.M.R., she attended Uplift Peak Prep and continued to stay involved at Jubilee.
After Hurricane Katrina, she went on a mission trip to the New Orleans area sponsored by Jubilee, which highlighted for her how easily we may take things for granted, and the resiliency of the area residents in putting their lives back together after Katrina. Alejandra saw similar resiliency in her own neighborhood and from then on, she looked for ways to pursue her passion for community health and creating opportunity for families like hers.
Growing up, Alejandra played basketball and soccer, and ran cross country and track. After high school, she took a chance on an opportunity to head way out of her comfort zone—and into cooler weather—to attend Syracuse University in upstate New York. Her love for sports led her to pursue a degree in Health & Exercise Science, with a minor in Coaching, with plans for graduate school for physical therapy. She graduated from Syracuse in December 2017 and joined the team at Jubilee just three months later.
For her first year on the job as Community Outreach Associate, Alejandra worked with Community Outreach Manager Samantha Campbell to plan community socials, National Night Out, health expos and senior programming. Last summer, as summer programming limited space for senior programs “on campus,” Alejandra and Samantha piloted a program to visit seniors in their homes. This helped them to gain a deeper understanding of the types of programs that might be useful for seniors and bridge the service gap over the summer months.
In January of 2019, Alejandra transitioned to the position of Community Support Specialist, spearheading brand new programs born out of Jubilee’s recently completed strategic plan. She now leads the Family Empowerment Program, long-term case management, and emergency financial assistance programs, closing the opportunity gap in Southeast Dallas and building a pipeline of community leaders like herself.
Alejandra has found Jubilee to be a great place to grow as a young professional, and as part of a welcoming team. Having experienced Jubilee’s programs as a young woman, seeing behind the scenes as an employee has opened her eyes to everything that goes into making Jubilee’s programs a success. She is proud to be a part of an organization that creates success stories and changes peoples’ lives.
When Alejandra is not working with the Jubilee community, she spends time running at White Rock Lake and meditating. Her favorite movie is Love & Basketball (2000), and lately she has been binge watching Marvel movies with her two nephews. She often listens to one of her favorite songs, “September,” by Earth, Wind & Fire, to help her get motivated in the morning, and she loves her mom’s cooking!