By Ingrid Piña
The inaugural cohort of SCA Alumni Fellows has finished their first week with flying colors. Trisha Malizia, the senior director of alumni engagement and the SCA Alumni Fellow go-to, arranged an onboarding schedule that welcomed and invigorated the seven alums involved.
After helpful assistance from Sonya Duhaime in ironing out Microsoft Office and Paycom quirks, the alumni fellows attended sessions on JEDI principles with Kate Hagner, on representing SCA mission values with Kevin Hamilton and Cecilia Aleman, on Microsoft Teams tips and tricks with Adam Brown, and on SCA Programs with Matt Gray. The fellows then completed LearnUpon staff training courses on conflict resolution, cybersecurity and SMART goal setting. With a wealth of knowledge underway and more opportunity ahead, the Fellows began independent projects and meetings with their supervisors.
Kelly Escarcega (right, with crewmate Hannah Petroski), the Recruiting Fellow and an alumna since 2015, applied for this fellowship because she wanted to get a feel for working behind the scenes at SCA. “I am most looking forward to learning how SCA staff got to where they are and what it takes to create a successful and rewarding program for young people,” Kelly said. She will work to make SCA Community Crews more accessible and the application process easier.
Daniel Saunders (with crew member Rhia Wennstrom), the Climate Action Fellow, is a six-time alum. He hopes to further his environmental planning experience with the organization that spawned his appreciation for nature. “I have dedicated my career to making communities more sustainable and resilient to the climate crisis,” he said. Daniel will calculate SCA’s annual greenhouse gas emissions, and hopefully start a Climate Action Plan.