IEOR staff member Diana Salazar has just been awarded the 2020 Chancellor’s Award for Civic Engagement – Staff Award. Each year, the Chancellor recognizes students, staff, faculty, and community partnerships that embody UC Berkeley’s proud tradition of public service and commitment to improving our local and global community.
Diana was nominated for her work to help lead and develop Moving Forward, a community group that serves underrepresented youth and community members in the City of Richmond, California. The Richmond community has a large Latino and African American population, and faces some of the biggest challenges of anywhere in California, including among the highest rates of asthma, unemployment, poverty, linguistic isolation, housing prices and relatively low levels of education.
Diana is working to address some of these disadvantages through her community group, Moving Forward, specifically by focusing on helping the youth prepare for college and have the skills to stay there, by cleaning up the physical environment in Richmond through community clean-ups in some of the most polluted areas, and by helping youth and citizens enjoy the environment and work on living a healthy & active lifestyle by organizing community hikes, race events, and free group fitness.
Diana is specifically in charge of helping to develop the group’s high school scholarship program. Due to lack of public school funding, and inadequate resources necessary for students to thrive in an academic environment, Moving Forward is especially interested in improving opportunities for first-generation college students, and helping them get into college and stay there. First generation and underserved students have a higher rate of college dropout due to a multitude of reasons including financial insecurity and lack of academic readiness to transitioning to a completely foreign environment. Moving Forward is working to address these concerns by providing mental support, helping to alleviate some of the financial burdens and also giving applicants the tools to succeed with life-skills courses.
Congratulations to Diana on being acknowledged for her work to improve the Richmond community. She will be officially recognized by the chancellor in a ceremony at Alumni House on May 4.