My name is Samantha Gomez and I was born and raised here in Salinas, California. I have always had a passion for helping others, which is why I am currently pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Collaborative Health and Human Services at Cal State Monterey Bay. The Epicenter was introduced to me by one of the Founders, who is also my friend, Fernanda. She invited me to take part in the program Our Gente, and shortly after, I was a volunteer at the Epicenter. Working with the LGBTQ+ youth has filled my heart with joy and purpose. Attending meetings, trainings, and events for Our Gente has been insightful and wonderful. My one year of volunteering experience has turned into this incredible opportunity to become an intern for the program, and for that, I am truly blessed.
Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light – Albus Dumbledore