Welcome to the team, Priscilla!
We’re thrilled to introduce you to Priscilla Calleros, who recently joined TEC as our Membership & Outreach Manager at the start of the New Year! Priscilla comes to TEC with several years of event management experience and is skilled and passionate about building partnerships that make Central Oregon a better place to live, work and play. She’s taking the lead to help grow our community of supporters, and in engaging our members to participate in local action and educational events as our work in Central Oregon continues to expand.
Priscilla was born and raised in Los Angeles and moved to Oregon two years ago – first to Portland, and then to Bend after accepting a position at Heart of Oregon Corps. She had never been to Central Oregon, but didn’t hesitate to jump right in and get involved in her new surroundings. Her role at HOC created several pathways to other community organizations, volunteer opportunities, and mentor relationships that have made the transition to Bend a positive experience. And after only a couple of years, it’s evident that Priscilla is making a huge impact on the world around her.
Something that immediately stands out is Priscilla’s commitment to local youth. She participates in the Central Oregon Latino Partnership Program by supporting Latinx high school students and organizing Conexiones events throughout the region. She’s also a mentor in the Latino Mentoring Program of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon, where she’s recently helped her ‘Little’ to apply for college financial aid and scholarships. She even helped to facilitate the first annual Youth Equity Leadership Summit at COCC in Redmond last fall, which created a welcoming space for youth of color, LGBTQ+ youth, and others with marginalized identities to connect with and support one another. (She’s already involved in planning the a 2nd annual event.) And last but not least, Priscilla volunteers on the Equity Committee for the Children’s Forest of Central Oregon and for Oregon State Parks’ ¡Vamos a Acampar! program, which empowers families to get outdoors and enjoy a camping experience together.
Priscilla’s leadership and drive to build a better Central Oregon for everyone is admirable. We are incredibly excited and privileged to welcome her to the team!
I (Lauren) sat down with Priscilla for an informal Q&A. Here’s a glimpse into our conversation. I hope you have the pleasure of meeting Priscilla soon, and that you’ll join me in welcoming her to the TEC family when you see her at an upcoming event!
What do you appreciate or enjoy about living in Central Oregon?
I enjoy the slower pace of life here. I’m surrounded by nature, trees, and so much beauty. I can walk one block from my house to get to the river, and I can drive 15 minutes and be on the trails at Shevlin Park. I came to Oregon because I wanted to be surrounded by nature and have easy access to all of this – I don’t have to drive an hour to get there! I do go to Portland often, especially during the warmer months, to get my city fix. There are things about the city that I find comforting and familiar.
What’s one thing you’re looking forward to this year?
I am looking forward to this transition into my new role at TEC, and seeing how the partnerships I have can continue to build and grow through my role here. I’m excited to see where it takes me! I’m also looking forward to seeing Oprah on her ‘2020 Vision’ Tour. (Side note: This is where I gasped with envy.) I am going with two close friends to see her at The Forum in LA. It’s a belated birthday celebration for both of us. And hopefully, I will be traveling to Mexico this year, too.
What book are you currently reading? Film you’ve seen recently?
I’m reading This I Believe II. It started off as an NPR series, and now there are two books available. It’s a collection of different people’s beliefs from around the world – political beliefs, ethical beliefs, everything. It includes the voices of a wide range of people, from senators to pizza delivery workers. I just watched a documentary on Netflix about El Pepe, una vida suprema Jose “Pepe” Mujica, former Uruguayan president. I recommend it!
If you were to facilitate a discussion on one topic you’re passionate about, what would it be?
I am vegan, and I’d want to facilitate a discussion about a plant-based diet and how this can have a positive impact on our environment and climate. I know there are so many talks, books, and studies that show the benefits of a plant-based diet – and I know there is controversy behind a lot of these conversations. But I often wonder what kind of impact it would have, scientifically-speaking, if more people were vegan. Impacts on our land, water, but also on issues like world hunger. (Priscilla volunteers at Harmony Farm Sanctuary in Sisters, a place for rescued farm animals and humans to connect and heal.)