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Miguel Ambriz Valdovinos

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Bio

Hello! I am Miguel, Social Welfare student at the University of California, Berkeley with interests in Social Work and Non-profit Advancement/Fundraising. I have a passion for social justice and the well-being of children and families. I am thrilled to help make change as a first-generation Latino!

Education

University of California-Berkeley

Bachelor's degree program
2022 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Social Work

Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit Hs

High School
2018 - 2022

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Social Work
    • Human Development, Family Studies, and Related Services
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Social Work

    • Dream career goals:

      Director

    • Donor Relations Assistant

      University of California, Berkeley
      2022 – Present2 years
    • Receptionist

      Lucile Packard Children's Hospital - Human Resources
      2018 – 20202 years
    • Environmental Education Intern

      Environmental Volunteers
      2020 – 20211 year
    • Donor Relations Intern

      Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley
      2021 – 20221 year

    Arts

    • Grupo Folklorico Cielito Lindo

      Dance
      2018 – 2022

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      St. Patrick's School — Childcare Volunteer
      2019 – 2020

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Greg Lockwood Scholarship
    A change I wish to see in the world is the child welfare system in the U.S. This would include aspects such as food insecurity, foster care, child welfare employee pay, and burnout. I want every child to experience the comfort and affection of a devoted family or guardian. I also hope for the assurance of every family to have the basic human rights of food, clean clothes, and convenient housing. This subject becomes important to me because I have seen children on different sides of the welfare spectrum, some that are well and have more than they need, and others who could use some support. On the topic of child well-being, food insecurity comes up frequently in conversations about justice. California has recently taken a step in offering free school lunches to all California students. This leaves families with 5 fewer meals to which they have to worry about, these are also 5 fewer worries for children who never know where their next meal can be coming from. If more states began to implement an initiative like this, we can ensure more children in the U.S. go without hunger. Social workers, specifically Child Protective social workers, are underpaid and overworked with a high volume of families under their care. Later on in the process, social workers risk making mistakes throughout their practice due to the inability to check in on each of their families. Social workers tend to have around 30 to 40 families in their caseload, which leads them with scarcely a chance to meet with clients once a month due to having to balance paperwork, meetings, welfare checks, and of course their lives outside work. This profession tends to have a lack of support from management positions, leading to employee burnout or resignation. Ways in which this problem can be fixed are by offering higher pay, including mandatory leave when social workers experience a death in their caseload, and proper distribution of cases per worker in means to avoid mistakes while trying to reunify children with their families. Furthermore, the foster care system is also an aspect I'd like to see changed. Every year, more than 23,00 youth age out of the foster care system in the United States. This means that they are no longer under the care of their state and must continue their lives on their own, most of the time without a place to live, money in their pocket, or trusted adults they can go to for help. A high percentage of these individuals will end up with a substance dependency, pregnant, incarcerated, or without a high school degree/GED. What could be done about this issue is providing residential programs for youth where they are assisted in finding a job and continuing their education as well as assigning case managers to prevent the youth from leaning towards the wrong path. Overall, this would take a redistribution of funding to social services programs to create my proposed solutions. Change of this kind is needed in order to ensure every child is properly nurtured and we can aid in diminishing the number of crises and problems that drawback the development of children and their families.
    WCEJ Thornton Foundation Low-Income Scholarship
    Middle school was the starting point of my realization of wanting to be a person for others. During 8th grade I left a memorable impact on my community. As we neared graduation, our class was curious whether we would wear caps and gowns, especially as the inaugural class of this new middle school in east San Jose. Although our dean of students had no intention of providing us with regalia, I took it upon myself to research an affordable option to purchase attire for $25 each. I went around and asked my classmates if they wanted to buy a cap and gown; I took their measurements, noted their name, and collected their funds. At the end of each day, I took the cash to the school secretary who helped me with the payment and ordering process; she admired my initiative and was kind enough to support me with this project. On a sunny June afternoon stood 70 soon-to-be high school students - almost all of them in purple cap and gowns. Celebrating this accomplishment, surrounded by smiling families, while proudly clothed in caps and gowns would not have been as special without the action of someone who lost themselves in the service of others. This memory will be with me every day going forward, sparking the beginning of my life marked by leadership and service. Freshman and Sophomore year, I interned at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. As the receptionist in the Human Resources department I facilitated the front desk and administrative duties. Working at a nationally-ranked hospital that supports parents while providing extensive medical care for their children requires being an individual of great compassion and empathy. Whether it is a potential employee nervously entering the office awaiting their interview, or a soon-to-be retiree looking to speak with a specialist about their documentation, everyone looked for a genuine, friendly, welcoming presence - and I was happy to serve! I currently work at the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, a nonprofit where I organize donations, grants, matching gifts and other philanthropic-giving. Whether it's a monthly occurrence of $10 or a six-figure sponsorship, it brings me joy that there are people who share qualities of kindness to give to organizations that look to better the community. Through work and life experiences, I've learned that I want to be a light to others so they, too, can be a light to someone else. It takes a while to see the good in humanity especially during times of hate and unrest. When I was 9-years-old my mom passed away due to breast cancer. This shift in my early childhood, and to this day, led the people around me to find ways in which they can give their love and nourishment. The love I received during this tough time is another reason I want to spread that to others. With a widowed, immigrant father I have learned that determination is one of the keys to success. I am driven to work diligently in school in order to help myself come across the struggles in which my family members have. Leading the Folklorico and Ambassador's club has allowed me to continue to pursue these qualities of being someone deeply involved in my community; participation in the Student Leadership Society has given me the opportunity to seek even more ways I can contribute. My involvement has allowed me to practice leading my peers, plan events, and be a resource in our school community. I aspire to become a Social Worker to continue my journey of serving others. This field aligns with my values of empathy, relational work, and contributing to the overall welfare of my community. Experiences during high school have allowed me to learn that being a leader takes ingenuity and not being afraid to step out of your role to create something that benefits the people you serve.