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Staff Spotlight: Emmanuel Piña-Zelinger 

Staff Spotlight: Emmanuel Piña-Zelinger 

Emmanuel Piña-Zelinger graduated from the University of Arizona in 2018 with a double major in English and Law. His first job out of college was at the Pima County Attorney’s Office in a legal processing support role within the misdemeanors, felonies, and diversion program departments.

While working in the diversion program, he had an interaction that transformed his perspective.  He was asked to help this individual with a situation unrelated to his job and Emmanuel stepped up to the task without question. In turn, the individual was immensely grateful for the help. Emmanuel credits this “most fulfilling” interaction as the moment he expanded his career prospects to include nonprofit work.

During college, Emmanuel was invested in giving back to the community.  He was a part of the National Society for Collegiate Scholars where, together with fellow scholars, he adopted a local park and raised money for a child with leukemia.  He was also part of a fraternity where he volunteered at Casa Maria Soup Kitchen and the Community Food Bank providing provisions for those in need.  He says he’s enjoyed “the feeling of serving others in a way that isn’t just being a part of a bigger machine or a bigger function.  I feel like I’m directly helping someone.”  It’s this feeling that also brought him to eventually come to work at Beacon Group.

Emmanuel is a member of Arizona Serve, a program under AmeriCorps VISTA with a team of 150 members serving Pima and Yavapai counties in projects to fight poverty.  Beacon Group had a position open through Arizona Serve for a Quality Assurance Specialist, a year-long project focused on improving and conducting audits on current Quality Control and Quality Assurance processes within the organization.  The role appealed to Emmanuel first and foremost because it was a new role, so he knew he’d be able to make it his own, fulfilling his interests and goals of taking initiative and problem solving.  The role would also allow him to dive deep into his passion for community service and the opportunity to work with people with disabilities, something he had never done and wanted to learn more about.

Emmanuel has now been in the role for four months and he says his passion for the work has already grown.  “With every day I come in, I become more passionate.  I’m learning new skills, working with people like Chris (McNamara) and Natalya (Brown) that I don’t think otherwise I’d have the opportunity to.  And I’m fulfilling that desire to help people,” he says.

As his position here is just one year, his main goal for the role is to lay a foundation that can be built on in the future.  And though he doesn’t know exactly where his future employment journey will take him, he feels that the skills learned and the people met at Beacon Group have also laid a foundation, for him personally, to grow and succeed in his future endeavors.

 

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