Today we’d like to introduce you to Diana Benavidez.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Diana. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve always considered myself a deeply passionate community member. I grew up in a low-income working-class family comprised of a single mother and autistic brother. I also grew up transborder, I spent most of my childhood traveling from one country to another to receive better opportunities and education. As a young woman with Binational roots from the San Diego/Tijuana border region, I first hand understand the challenges of being a member of an underrepresented community. As a response to these challenges, I’ve taken the responsibility to act as an advocate of my community through my involvement in San Diego’s Arts, Culture, and Nonprofit sector.
I received a BA in visual arts degree from UC San Diego and my early professional career in the Nonprofit sector began by helping build the foundations of a “new” Nonprofit called Save Starlight back in 2016. Our mission was to transform the abandoned Starlight Bowl located in Balboa Park, into an accessible and diverse community space. As a result of my leadership and dedication to the park, I was awarded the Betty Peabody Emerging Young Leader of Balboa Park award by Friends of Balboa Park in 2018. Subsequently, I joined the steering committee of Rising Arts Leaders of San Diego (RALSD), an arts organization focusing on providing resources and tools to our arts and culture nonprofit professionals. My passion to bring change and enhance our communities drove me to a new endeavor, which is to empower young girls through my current position with Girl Scouts San Diego. Along with working with Girl Scouts San Diego, I’m a visual artist who uses pinatas as a vehicle for communication to reflect upon and share my experiences growing up a militarized border.
Has it been a smooth road?
I strongly believe that building relationships along the way have made this an enjoyable ride for me. Networking has led to many opportunities to collaborate in the Arts & Culture Nonprofit sector. I highly recommend volunteering in organizations that you’re passionate about and attending mixers or networking events in the professional field you’re interested in pursuing a profession.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I’m passionate about the missions that share my ethics. Due to this, I’ve always been willing to go the extra mile in order to achieve our communal goals. This has motivated me to learn everything from web design, graphic design, administrative procedures, video editing, social media management, membership recruitment, event planning, and fund and development. I strongly believe that working in Nonprofits has pushed me to learn a myriad of skills. It’s hard not to become a jack of all trades.
It would be great to hear about any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve used and would recommend to others.
Honestly, YouTube and Google have saved my life.
- Membership is $25 /yr
Images provided by Diana Benavidez