Staff Spotlight: Tiara Rueda

The Michigan YVPC team is made up of a diverse group of people, and each brings a unique set of skills and experience to the table. Our staff spotlight series highlights members of our team, many of whom work and live in the Flint community. We’ve asked them a little about themselves and their role with the YVPC program. 

Tiara_croppedQ: Tell me a little about yourself.

I’m from Flint. I went to Northern High School. I have two children. They’re both one.

 Q: What got you interested in working with the YVPC?

My sister informed me about the job, and I got to see her hands on while she was doing it. And it was pretty cool. We’re helping the community. Also, exercise!

Q: What have you liked best about your job so far?

The co-workers. They are very funny people, and they’re very interesting. They make the mornings. 8:00 is so early! But we get in here, and it’s like, “All right, I’m having a good day now. You lifted my spirits.”

Q: What kinds of feedback have you gotten from residents when you’re out in different neighborhoods?

They do say that we have an impact on the community, especially with the vacant lots. We mention Clean and Green / Adopt A Lot – they might have never known about it, but then they say, “Now I’m going to adopt a lot and make it more beautiful” instead of just having grass and hay. It makes you happier at the end of the day – now I’ve informed somebody, maybe they’ll do something about it.

Q: How do you think the YVPC will impact Flint?

I hope that they’ll fix the abandoned houses, or try to beautify the community with gardens, little park benches, signs with historical facts. I’ve been living here 23 years, and I’ve never seen as many abandoned houses. Hopefully a better impact on the community and the people.

Q: How has working for the YVPC had an impact on your life?

I was really quiet, and I couldn’t talk to people. Now I know how to approach people, and I’m not that shy. It made me come out of my shell.

Q: What else do you want people to know about the YVPC?

I hope people will be informed about what YVPC is. [Youth] should know about the programs, and have something to do rather than just playing a game or watching TV.

QSomething more positive?

Something to help the community. They can do Adopt A Lot, or Mentoring, to help themselves in reaching what they want to do. If they know or their parents know about it, then they can get into it, and their summers won’t be so boring.