Spotlight Series: Fernando Acevedo
July 18, 2019
Fernando Acevedo, college coordinator of high school programs, attended the 2019 E. Kika De La Garza Education Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C. this past June. Acevedo was one of 18 staff and faculty from Hispanic-Serving Institutions from around the country selected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to attend the two-week program.
Acevedo had the opportunity to work collaboratively with USDA and other federal agencies during the fellowship, and was given insight and an understanding of the federal government and their existing internship opportunities.
"As a coordinator, I work with students and there are so many opportunities available through the federal government" said Acevedo. "As an institution, I want to make sure we're leveraging and promoting these opportunities to our students as often as we can."
Acevedo said the fellowship sounded like a great opportunity and decided he might as well give it a shot, regardless of the outcome. Once he got the acceptance email, he couldn't believe it.
"I was so excited and immediately shared the email with my colleagues," said Acevedo.
Through the fellowship, Acevedo had the opportunity to share his experiences at Palo Alto College with the other fellows from around the country. Additionally, the experience has left Acevedo wanting to become a resource for students at Palo Alto College who are looking for similar opportunities working for the federal government.
"I enjoyed that even though all of the other fellows had different roles in their institutions, they were all very passionate about the areas they serve," said Acevedo. "Just getting to work with them and learning about their backgrounds was an amazing experience."
During the two-week fellowship, numerous agencies under the USDA umbrella came out to share the opportunities they offered. Acevedo said the experience was a little overwhelming at times, as there was so much information disseminated.
"I felt like it was my first time in college during the fellowship," said Acevedo. "Coming in with all this information to take in and soak... if this is how students feel, I'd like to make sure we can promote the information in a manner where it's not only readily available, but easily digestible for students."
One of the main ideas behind the fellowship is to have the fellows, like Acevedo, spread the word of internships, job opportunities and grants to their home institutions. Acevedo wants to create informative sessions where students can learn how to prepare themselves for the work force. Resources like the S.H.A.R.E. Center, already offer the types of career services Acevedo wants to continue to promote.
"These are competitive internships, but we have outstanding students who are absolutely eligible for these positions," said Acevedo. "It's our job to now make sure they know they exist and that they're obtainable."
The career services offered can help students with exploring careers, educational opportunities, and internships. For more information on these services, visit www.alamo.edu/pac/career-services/.