New Employee Spotlight – Aileen Mata

We’d like to take a moment and recognize our newest employees to Green River. Please take a moment to learn more about them, in their own words. mata-aileen

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.
I’ve been hired as a Program Specialist for the Recruitment and Outreach Office. I have my Master’s in Education Policy from the University of Washington. I have worked with college access and closing the opportunity gap for over 5 years now and am excited to join the Green River Community.

What drew you to apply to Green River?
I wanted to center my work on community outreach in higher education in South King County Area. South King County has become very diverse over the last couple years and I want to continue working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?
On my way to work I listen to my Hip-hop station on Pandora. I need upbeat-feel good music on my way to work to help motivate me for a new day.

What was the very first job you ever had?
When I was 12 years old I worked out in the fields picking strawberries to help pay for school clothes. I still remember the first day of picking, it was very hard work and I told myself that I would make sure that I would never have to endure this kind of work when I got older.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?
I am eager to meet new colleagues, community partners and students! College access work is my passion, and I am excited to see how I can contribute to the Green River Community!

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year at Green River?
I’d love to help establish new strategies on how to outreach to new communities. I am always up for a challenge and love innovating new ideas and projects that will produce positive outcomes.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?
The 3 accomplishments that I am most proud of are my graduations from high school and college. I was the first one in my family to graduate high school and attend college. I knew that my degrees were bigger than me; they were not only for my family but for my community.

If your coworkers were to give you an office nickname, what would that be? Why?
The nickname would have to be Luna “moon”. I am always in the movement night or day; social change is what drives the work I do.

For Green River’s annual talent show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase for everyone?
I would perform Baile Folkorico “folkloric dance” from Mexico. I use to dance when I was an undergrad at Western Washington University and it was a lot of fun- not to mention a really great workout!

If G.R.E.E.N. were an acronym for something, what would each letter stand for?
G
iving
Restorative
Equitable
Education
Needed

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