Established 12 years ago in 2010, the Hispanic Access Foundation was born out of Matie Arce's determination to connect Latinos to more opportunities.
"Our purpose is to catapult our communities into action by providing leaders with access capacity and the belief that they can create big change... un cambio grande," said Maite Arce, Hispanic Access Foundation CEO and President.
A resource like the Hispanic Access Foundation was exactly what Cal Poly alumna Samaya Rubio needed as she began navigating her career in the environmental and natural resource field.
MANO, short for “My Access to Network Opportunities", is one project that connects students to internship opportunities with various government agencies.
Through that project, Rubio landed a paid internship at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum.
“Hispanic Access literally took care of everything for me, where it was travel, it was living expenses, actually getting help in a place to stay," Rubio said.
Through her internship, Rubio said she was able to meet mentors and get hands-on experience that prepared her for her career in the outdoors.
It gave her a sense of community she did not have before.
“My heart is full with knowing all of the amazing individuals that have been placed in internships, have had exposure to careers, have been hired in permanent jobs that they love," Arce said.
The Hispanic Access Foundation has initiatives throughout the year that include free workshops. To learn more, visit this website.