Meet current class member Sandra Trejo-Wirfs!
Sandra is a Career Planner for Iowa WORKS. Born and raised in Mexico, until the age of 13, her family migrated to South Texas in 1987. “We did not speak English when we came to live in the US. In 2002, I moved to Perry, Iowa, and was hired as the first Latina dispatcher with the Perry PD.” She worked there for 4 years, then moved here to Ottumwa and has worked for IowaWORKS for the past 12 years. Her first position with IowaWORKS was as a Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Outreach Specialist, and currently, for the past 7 years, as a Career Planner.
“When I came to Ottumwa, I found this community to be very welcoming, and I wanted to give back. I wanted to help. The only way I could think to do that was by volunteering. I first volunteered with the Iowa Migrant Movement as an interpreter for Spanish speakers. Since then, I have also volunteered with the United Way, Ezra Free Clinic, Food Bank of Iowa, and Make Ottumwa Shine, to name a few. I was part of the first group of mentors when the Al-Exito Program started in Ottumwa. I have been the President, and am currently the Vice-President, of League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) 377. LULAC is the oldest civil rights organization in the United States.”
When asked about being part of Ottumwa Leadership Academy, Sandra shared, “I wanted to join O.L.A. to learn how to effectively connect with people, become more confident as a leader, and learn about others’ leadership skills and techniques.” The class she has found most interesting was the Human, Community, and Health Services session. “I have been living in Ottumwa for more than 10 years and there are some resources that I was not aware of. I was familiar with many of the agencies, but not all the services that are available in our community.”
Sandra also shared her experience from State Government Day, “When O.L.A. visited the Capitol, I learned the journey of some of the Representatives, Legislators and the Governor. That really inspired me to follow my dreams, do my best at representing my community, and support our local government. I learned that if I do not vote, someone else is going to vote for me.”
“The Ottumwa Leadership Academy gave me the opportunity to learn more about our local leaders and the different styles to lead. Not only are we building a network, but also long-lasting relationships. This class has so much in common, which is the passion we have in what we do.”
Sandra was recently elected as a member of the Board of Directors of Community 1st Credit Union as well as a Board member of the Ottumwa YMCA. She and her husband Rich has a blended family with 6 children: Brittaney, Mitch, Rogelio, Kennedy, Robert & Russell and their fur baby, Brutus.
Sandra’s Top Five CliftonStrengths are: