Camp ANV: What are some of your hobbies or interests?
José: I have a variety of hobbies and interested that occupy my time both on and off work. I love to dance, thinking critically and engaging with performance, listening to music to improve my expansive playlist, living an active lifestyle, but my biggest interest is continuing my education and preparing for a career in education that emphasizes performance and technology as viable forms of communicating issues, potential realities and hypothesizing solutions.
Camp: What is your favorite age group to work with?
José: It’s hard for me to choose a specific age group as being my favorite group to work with mostly because the type of attention, or lessons, each group appears to need vary. The Little Seeds are amazing because they are the easiest friends to make, as long as you let them become friends with you. Same with the Sprouts yet they are more prone to being interested in their imagination or what their friends are doing. The L.I.T.s are older and usually at an age where I’m sure all adults sound like the parents from the Charlie Brown franchise. That said, when vital conversations take place (be it about food or reformative justice, oppression and intersectionality, individual determination for success, and even how to be a role model for the younger kids) you can begin to see rough exteriors fade away. The L.I.T.s, in my opinion, want to be respected and treated as adults, at least on an intellectual level if nothing else, and they become enveloped into critical conversations that at best only rarely occur in public schools. All in all, each group teaches me everyday to be patient, think before speaking, and hot to stay swift on my toes when tough questions arise.
Camp: What does Camp ANV mean to you?
José: When I first started Camp ANV a year ago, I felt that being on the team meant much of what I detailed in my application: “words only go so far, actions get you to the next destination.” Now, the meaning of camp still has the same basic formula, but anyone who works at Camp ANV grows just as much as the campers. Where else will you find over 50 beautifully individual children – each with unique personalities, dreams, experiences, and struggles – and be in a position to guide them in a more positive light everyday? You would like to think it’d be in public school, but part of the reason all of us here working at ANV continue to show up for these kids everyday is because we know it isn’t the case. The meaning of ANV, at least for me, has developed into a living self-justifiable tool of survival youth in our communities desperately need to compete with more privileged communities affluent with resources and opportunities. To me, Camp ANV is nothing but love that doesn’t quit.
Camp: Can you name four interesting things about yourself?
José: Four interesting things about me: 1) I speak three languages and encourage everyone to learn how to communicate in different ways; 2) I’m a creative and political personality, and this aspect of my character drives me to show others the power of their bodies, voices, movement and performance; 3) I can probably beat at least 50% of people older than me at a contest to identify oldie songs and artists; 4) I’m a first generation college student with 9 other siblings, and the first in my family to receive a bachelor’s degree – soon to be the first to receive a master’s degree.
Camp: Wowzers, Jose!! Thank you so much for working with us! Your passion shines through every day!