With another year of high school to go, Raquel Cansimbe is spending her summer working with three organizations to help inspire young Latinos.
“I got involved because I want to be able to help promote and keep the Latino culture alive,” Raquel says. “I want to figure out better ways to get Latinos more involved and keep the culture going strong and lively.”
Along with the American GI Forum and United Latinos, Raquel is volunteering at Las Chicas Latinas de Sacramento. Her primary goal is to get adolescents off the streets and into volunteer programs. She discourages students from misbehaving by showing them new ways to be productive after school.
“Raquel is an inspiring young woman and well on her way to becoming a great leader and asset in the Sacramento community,” Angela Rosas, founder of Chicas Latinas de Sacramento, says. “She is [a] wonderful representation of both the young Latina leaders in our community as well as the Chicas Latinas de Sacramento organization. ”
Raquel looks forward to making a positive change in her community. Her impact is already resounding in the Sacramento area.
Name: Raquel Cansimbe
School: Laguna Creek High School
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Favorite activities: I love to play soccer. I like to hang out with my family and spend time with my nieces and nephews. I love to help people out and to help them whether it’s fixing something real quick or figure something out. I have always loved to lend a helping hand.
I’m passionate about… I am very passionate about my family and how I keep them close to me. It is very important to me how my nieces, my nephews and my sisters look up to me. I want them to see somebody that they could think highly of. I am always very passionate about school, my grades, and keeping ahead of my school work; just what I need to achieve good grades.
What my summer has in store: I have been working with the United Latinos and American GI Forum. I am the Youth Leader for both groups. For the American GI Forum, we are focused on veterans. We have an annual gala each year and we nominate several veterans and they get an award. We also have scholarships for students entering college. For the United Latinos—it’s a little political—we have candidate forums each time people are running for office. We may have one in October for the presidential race if they accept our invitation. My role is basically to get the youth out there. I was eager to get the youth out of bad areas and to get them involved. An organization like this is a very good way to a get kids into a good environment and out of trouble.
My inspiration: My dad is very, very hard-working. When we were younger, when he wasn’t at the office, he was doing construction. Most girls find it gross to get their hands dirty fixing a pipe or painting, but I grew up doing that with my dad. That is the way my sisters and I were able to bond with my dad and each other. Now I can mow grass, fix sprinklers, and fix things around the house. And my mother. She is very caring and loving, and whenever I have some kind of issue and I need to call her, I can. She is always there to support me in whatever I do. And my oldest sister is a strong woman. I look up to her because of that. She is in the Army and she is a lot like my dad. I literally look up to her.
Short-term plan: Well, for school, it would be getting through senior year with good grades. I just want to have straight A’s and B’s, have a good senior year and go out with a bang. I want to get involved in another club designated to helping youth.
In 10 years, I see myself… graduated from college, I want to be a nurse. I see myself volunteering more and continuing with these organizations and getting more youth involved. I want to continue working so I can pass it down to another student. I want to be an adviser or mentor to youth that are having a rough time or want to get involved in politics. I see myself just giving a helping hand.