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Valencia Gardens welcomes new Community Technology Associate

Residents of Valencia Gardens looking to take advantage of the computer lab now have a new leader to help with their needs.

Valencia Gardens, in partnership with <dev/Mission>, welcomed Jocelyne Umanzor to the team as the new Community Technology Associate. In her new role, Umanzor will oversees technical support for VG’s computer lab.

“They’ll always be greeted with a smile,” Umanzor said about what residents should expect. “Just being able to be friendly with [the residents] I know it’ll set a comfortable environment for them.”

Umanzor is a child of the Mission who graduated from the <dev/Mission> program as part of the December 2018 cohort. She said that while she had no initial interest of joining the program, which is currently incubated at Mission Housing’s site, an epiphany led her to pursue an undiscovered passion.

“I just realized, maybe I should take advantage of the opportunities that people come all over the east coast or wherever it is, take take opportunities here — maybe I should too,” Umanzor said. “And just take a shot at it. I wasn’t going to have anything to lose. And I did it. And now I work at Valencia Gardens.”

“We are thrilled to see Jocelyne not only graduate from the <dev/Mission> program but to see her collaborate with our onsite services team and provide support to our residents at Valencia Gardens,” said Marcia Contreras, Deputy Executive Director at Mission Housing. “We welcome her to our community.”

Umanzor’s responsibilities will include helping residents with: WiFi connectivity issues, virus protection software, social media account set-up, build their own websites and most tech-related issues.

“It was actually something I always imagined myself doing,” Umanzor said. “The thought of being a part of dev/Mission, it’s what kept me motivated to be in tech — to some way, some how, give back to the community because this is where I grew up, this is my home. And you know, a lot of it is changing and some of it is not good. And just seeing Leo [Sosa, Executive Director of <dev/Mission>] being that small, but very large, organization that helps out the community is something that I wanted to be a part of.”

The 21-year-old is another success story out of the<dev/Mission> camp. Her hours at the office are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“You feel like you belong,” Umanzor said of the program. “(They) have this banner that says “You belong here” and I feel like I really belong somewhere so I want to continue to be a part of it — behind the scenes, giving back to the community. Even if it’s helping a resident to print a paper or use a laptop, I’m still giving back in some sort of way.

“A lot of the times I would come across, that there aren’t a lot of women in tech so I felt proud and blessed that I was able to be in program and be one of the only females and learning about the new stuff that I didn’t know took place behind the scenes in tech. And I got to be a part of it and I got to learn from scratch,” she said.

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