College and Career Coordinator

Anabella Linaresis the College and Career Coordinator for Program 18. She is proudly a half-Mexican and half-Salvadoran first-generation California native. Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, she takes pride in the fact that her community was full of culture, color, and great food!

Linares majored in psychology at California Polytechnic University – San Luis Obispo. She was enthralled by the opportunity to learn about other people and learned a lot about herself along the way. Specifically, she found that her motivations lie in personal and moral fulfillment and that a career in the helping professions would be of most value to her. 

One of her greatest experiences and lessons at Cal Poly came about through participation in a Psychology of Aging course. This course partnered her with a retiree named Beryl. She and Beryl met every other week for 10 weeks. In one of their meetings’ Anabella asked Beryl what her secrets to a life well lived was. Beryl gave her two words: curiosity and humor. Anabella took away from this conversation that keeping a curious mind contributes to lifelong learning and keeps boredom away. Beryl informed her that humor was the key to surviving the tough times. This moment of vulnerability was the ultimate revelation for Anabella and encouraged her to always employ her curiosity and humor when life throws its curveballs. 

During her senior year at Cal Poly, she was allowed the opportunity to intern for Big Brothers Big Sisters – SLO. In this experience, her role was that of an after-school teacher for elementary school students. In this role, she oversaw the intermingling of Big and Little pairings. She enjoyed the experience of building relationships with students and families.

Once learning about Americorps, she felt drawn to their mission and the idea of becoming a member to gain experience before transitioning into graduate school. Shortly after submitting her application, she was directed to the “I Have A Dream” Foundation- Los Angeles (IHADLA) website and felt it was a perfect fit!

As a recipient of many non-profit services and programs growing up, the possibility of providing a similar service to other youth felt serendipitous. She looks forward to the rest of her year of service and hopes to learn a lot.