OtterCares Ambassador Spotlight: Meet Francisco!

September 15, 2016

Name: Francisco, mechanical engineer

Why did you become an OtterCares Ambassador:

I have always had a passion to give and mentor younger students. Growing up, while my parents supported me tremendously, I did not always have the resources that would expose me to various career choices or helped my transition to university easy. I had to learn through the growing pains, but working hard to achieve what I have today has made me grateful for the road I have taken. Understanding now what is needed for success, I have worked with organizations such as Reality Changers, UCSD Summer Bridge Program, Special Olympics, AYSO, and other organizations to directly influence the youth about the potential each and every one of those students has even while the road seems impossible at times!

Who or what has influenced your volunteer work (why do you volunteer?):

My parents and younger brothers have always been my major source of inspiration. Understanding my role, how I have influenced their lives and how I can influence others has truly been something I love to do.

Describe a volunteer activity you have been involved in that relates to the OtterCares purpose statement:

IIMG_3063 got involved with Shane, a teacher at Olive Pierce Middle School, and his program from coaching my little brother’s soccer team. Since he helped as an assistant coach, he began talking to me about his classes he teaches and his amazing vision he had for students and I instantly wanted to get involved and help him achieve his innovative ideas of having students learn these fundamentals from hands on experiences. After learning a little bit more of the activities and his curriculum, I decided to donate my Dollars for Doers grant to his program so that he can purchase supplies for his students. With that money, I was honored to be invited to his first competition and witness some amazing things in person! These middle school students didn’t just design dragsters and rockets, but they were introduced to the physics and science behind the design while having fun bringing these to life! They also have some simple 3D modeling software and a simple 3D printing machine which is great because I know growing up I was not exposed to these resources. For me, Shane and his STEM program exemplified the OtterCares mission, as he caters to innovation and entrepreneurship, and wants these students young mind’s to think big, to never feel like they can’t achieve the impossible.


Describe your favorite volunteer activity:

I love our Junior Achievement job shadowing events! Having the whole San Diego office be able to show off their daily routine and seeing the awe in the student’s faces is a great feeling!

Why do you think the OtterCares purpose is important?: 

To me, OtterCares does more than just donate money to different schools and organizations. This is a foundation that allows students to believe, to be inspired to achieve the impossible. As a young child, I knew how valuable these experiences were, to have a real-life engineer come speak to me and tell me how I can make a difference. I love this organization because it allows me to touch young student’s lives, and influence them to achieve whatever they desire. I strongly believe that here in San Diego, regardless of how small a team we have, we are doing some big things and we will influence the youth here that truly needs this help!