As a native Arizonian, Chino has always felt a certain responsibility and commitment towards the community that raised him. This sense of responsibility inspired him to begin taking psychology classes at Yavapai College. While attending his first semester, Chino quickly developed a deep passion for charitable work. He fell in love with the rewarding feeling gained through nonprofit work while attending community college. This resolve stuck with him through the rest of his collegiate years, leading him to complete a Bachelor of Social Work at Northern Arizona University. After five years working with several different behavioral health nonprofit companies, Chino decided to continue his dream and further his education. He now holds a master’s in professional counseling.
Although he is busy doing amazing things as a counselor, Chino has always made time to support GEM. As the Diversity Officer for the board, Chino ensures that GEM’s programs reach the underserved populations that GEM aims to support.
What do you enjoy most about being involved in GEM?
One of the biggest things, why I enjoy being involved with GEM, is the opportunity to be a part of an organization whose mission they feel passionately about. I honestly believe they provide unique educational opportunities for STEM students. They work extremely hard to provide these opportunities through paid internships, scholarships, and vocational training.
What were your feelings when GEM first started and being part of the organization?
I was very excited to hear that this organization wanted to give more light to the STEM field and make sure that people from all walks of life have access to these programs. I also was incredibly happy to see that GEM would be working with community institutions and schools.
What kind of progress has GEM made, and what kind of progress do you see GEM making in the future?
GEM has made some significant progress; GEM is slowly developing a name for itself. GEM has made it to Prescott Living Magazine, Prescott Woman Magazine, Prescott eNews, Valley Verde TV, This AmeriCorps Life Podcast, Arizona Geology e-Magazine. It also has partnered with Yavapai Community College. I can’t wait to see the progress the GEM will make in the future.
In what ways does GEM feel like a family, and what do you like most about GEM?
Gem feels like a family by how they Care. Just like a family, when someone is in need, you turn to family. GEM offers support and encouragement like a family. GEM also has an outstanding commitment to all members of its organization. GEM is also committed to its communication with its members; GEM members are encouraged to ask questions and are willing to listen to one another.