Kenya Avila

Excellence in Volunteerism Award Winner

Social Services Agency

Strategic Communications, Legislation and Policy Team

ACTION: What does the volunteer do?

Kenya Avila joined the Social Services Agency (SSA) as an intern from California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) in August of 2018. As an intern, she was assigned to the Strategic Communications, Legislation and Policy Team (SCLPT). In this role, Kenya assisted with various communication deliverables, including but not limited to: graphic design, content development for various communication projects, social media posting and scheduling, as well as working on our Heart of SSA: Core Values, an action employee engagement campaign.

These deliverables required Kenya to learn new software and technologies in a very time compressed environment where priorities can change quickly.  Kenya consistently performed over and above what was expected of her and was always very pleasant (and fun) to work with. She mastered all new tasks, turning them around quickly, efficiently and with a high degree of quality. Kenya worked with SCLPT from August 20, 2018 until February 14, 2019. After she completed her internship, she applied and was recently hired for a full-time position as an Office Technician with SSA’s Facilities and Emergency Management team.

NEED: What community need does the volunteer address?

While SCLPT is small in size, composed of six total staff members, the work demand is high, spanning the largest county agency of more than 4,000 staff. The addition of Kenya to the team helped ensure our tasks continued to move forward with a high degree of innovation, engagement, quality and timeliness. Kenya was able to assist SCLPT with developing and facilitating internal and external communications campaigns for the agency, monitoring and analyzing legislation at the State and Federal levels, and assisting SSA staff in identifying potential legislation and legislative platform statements.

IMPACT: What is different as a result of the volunteer's service?

Kenya has left an indelible mark on the quality of the communications materials published by SCLPT, positively promoting SSA programs, services and resources. She created numerous agency flyers, brochures, social media banner graphics and other Agency deliverables with a high degree of professionalism and collaboration, ensuring all communications were engaging and compelling to our key audiences. In all of her work, she made sure to reinforce agency branding in a consistent manner while making sure tactics were relevant to the voice of the client (internal or external). Kenya helped set the bar high on all she worked on, which in turn challenged the team to do the same. Kenya shared invaluable insights to help SCLPT deliver resources to the internal and external audiences, allowing for positive change and awareness.

INSPIRATION: What makes the volunteer unique/special?

When Kenya joined our team, she brought a refreshing level of enthusiasm, creativity and initiative with her. SCLPT is a high performing team, but she inspired SCLPT staff with a fresh perspective and stepping up to take on tasks that we were not sure an intern would be comfortable completing. Kenya thrives in learning and acquiring new skills. She showed her passion for learning and hard work by never turning down any opportunity to gain knowledge or assist with any of our various Agency projects. While we acknowledge she completed a high volume of work with the team, what is equally important is how she completed it—treating people with respect and courtesy—truly exhibiting SSA’s core values.

Thank you and congratulations to Kenya Avila, recipient of the 2019 Excellence in Volunteerism Award!