Occasionally, the YVC Community Relations office receives stories from staff or faculty members about the extraordinary work being done by one of their colleagues. Below is one such submission, received from Instructional & Classroom Support Technician Kim Nolt, about her co-worker, Emma Sandoval.
One smiling face greeting Grandview students as they enter the main lobby is cashier Emma Sandoval. After several turnovers in that position, Emma brings a stable, caring presence to the front office area. She knows many staff and students because she herself was also a student here at YVC. Workplace displacement led her to realize the importance of education before getting caught up in work, and she needed to enhance her skills to improve her job outlook. She enrolled at YVC, planning to get a certificate in accounting and maybe Spanish fluency for translator certification. With her many years of office work, she felt confident that school would give her the credibility and updated skills for a new office job.
Emma started her college classes. In spite of a plan and good intentions, reality crept in. College costs on top of living expenses as a single person soon clouded those plans. It became harder and harder for Emma to study when she could see her money for school running out, even with her work study position and financial aid. How could she continue? She decided that a job, full-time or part-time, would have to be the answer. Although she did not like the idea of slowing or stopping her studies, she needed money to live.
One of the places Emma looked for employment was at YVC. She knew from the missing people and fill-in faces that both the cashier and registrar positions were open. Since she was a student, she also knew the importance of these people in making student life successful. Putting her updated skills to the test, she applied for both positions. Emma was thrilled to get an interview. When someone else got the registrar job, she was disappointed, but kept hoping to interview for the cashier job. She did interview, and this time, she got her wish and was hired.
Emma began her position in November 2017. Now the learning curve, with all the procedures and step-by-step process to many of the job duties began. With much to learn, Emma finished up Fall quarter and reluctantly put her future education plans on hold. As she just began to settle in, she fell and injured her shoulder in December. Surgery to repair the damage, and physical therapy to regain movement added adjustments to her Winter quarter activities and learning. With only therapy ahead, Emma optimistically moved into Spring quarter, feeling more comfortable with her cashiering duties. Although classes are not yet in her immediate future, Emma does plan to work them into her busy schedule. She emphasized, “Education is truly vital to your future. It is an investment in yourself.”
The transition from student to employee seemed like a natural fit for Emma. It allowed her to stay close to home, have contact with former classmates, and become part of the YVC Grandview family. Since joining the staff, Emma has worked to renew a stronger sense of community among the staff by organizing monthly celebrations for birthdays, getting cards for special occasions, and sharing treats. Dean Marcia Somer praised her efforts, stating, “…[W]e have a community of caring coworkers. I appreciate your leadership in such wonderful thoughts and endeavors.” Everyone at Grandview echoes that sentiment and is thrilled to have such a caring representation to all staff, students, and visitors who enter the campus grounds.