Introducing Angela Leal
Staff Interview

Tell us a little bit about your background (where you are from, what you studied in school, any hobbies, etc.)

I was born and raised in Stockton, CA. Stockton is a part of San Joaquin County, a large agricultural hub in California. My grandfather is a small farmer in Stockton, and I was fortunate to grow up working alongside him and my mother. I attribute my work experiences to shaping my ideologies as well as my love for plants. One of my favorite hobbies is plants. Back at home, I probably have close to 100 plants; most of them are cactus and succulents. What I admire most about cactus in particular is their resilience and perseverance.

In 2014,I moved to San Diego for college. I attended the University of San Diego where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Philosophy. My time at USD, and in particular my experience in a Chicano Studies Class, sparked an interest in Social Justice that has inspired my career trajectory (which I am still trying to figure out).

What led you to Via International?

After I graduated from college I moved back home and worked for a few months as a Legal Assistant for the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office. Around this time, I reached out to USD Professor Alberto Pulido for job and career advice. He informed me about the position at Via International. It all seemed serendipitous. When I was at home I felt I wasn’t challenging myself and thought a move would allow me to grow. My time in college had sparked an interest in Social Justice and Human Rights, so Via seemed a natural fit.

What will you be working on during your time here? Or what do you hope to work on?

My Americorps assignment is centered around capacity building in the community, specifically how it pertains to financial security. My hope is to develop monthly classes or workshops that will facilitate a stronger relationship between Via and the community it resides in, while providing residents with valuable resources.

What do you want to do after Via?

After Via, I hope to go to graduate school. I am still considering my options as far as what program. Currently, I am considering a dual degree in Law and Public Policy.

What kind of an impact do you want to have in the world?

In general, I hope to have a positive impact in the world. I hope that at some point in my lifetime I will be able to inspire at least one person to create positive changes as well. My overarching goal is to use my knowledge and privilege in a positive way, to affect positive change.