Partner Programs Coordinator, Foodshare
Obama Foundation Fellow
Currently Yahaira works as a Partner Programs Coordinator at Foodshare. Yahaira works with 98 different programs that range from pantries, child programs, colleges, and shelters. Yahaira’s responsibilities are to ensure that all programs meet food safety standards while building and strengthening relationships with them. Yahaira believes that part of building and strengthening relationships is to ensure that programs have what they need to be successful and that our community members are receiving as much support as possible during vulnerable times in their lives. Yahaira says that during her day-to-day work life, she uses many of the qualitative skills she gained from the program, specifically researching and analyzing how certain programs will influence our network and looking at its outputs and outcomes. Overall, Yahaira does a lot of critical thinking, problem solving, communicating effectively, and relationship building- all of these skills were strengthened because of the DPP.
Yahaira’s Internship and Professional Practice Program was at Hartford Promise, located in Downtown Hartford. About her IPP, Yahaira stated the following, “It was such a rewarding and amazing experience! I am still in touch with them and still learn so much from them. One of the best things that the DPP has to offer are their IPPs!”
Yahaira’s advice to the current students:
“Do NOT rush your graduate career. When I was a student, I was so anxious to just finish and start my full-time career. It has been great, but I wish I did not rush it. Also, CHALLENGE yourself. If you are not analytically endowed, like me, take a couple of analytical elective courses. I wish I had pushed myself more when I was a student in taking these courses. They are so valuable!
“Also, network! Make those connections and take advantage of any of the events the DPP has and your professor’s office hours. Professors offer so much more info and knowledge when you go to their office hours and you take interest in their work. As a result, I was able to create a lot of connections and relationships that I am still using today! However, remember, it is a two-way street; you have to put in the effort to foster those relationships.”
Yahaira was born and raised in Hartford, CT, and she still lives there. During her free time she loves to cook and explore new restaurants and bars. Also Yahaira loves hanging out with loved ones and listening to podcasts. Yahaira recently picked up hiking and has been enjoying that, and now that she is not in school, she can read a lot more.