20 Questions in 60 Seconds is our blog series in which we interview Communities In Schools staff members. This week's guest is Amanda Gallardo, Site Coordinator, CIS of NOVA.
1. What would you name the autobiography of your life?
My Revolving Office Door.
2. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Play the piano.
3. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
Backpack through Europe.
4. When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?
I'd like to say I do something productive, but it's usually spent on the couch watching TV.
5. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
6. What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?
Moving from Texas to Washington, DC.
7. What is something you learned in the last week?
That no matter how much you plan for a fundraiser, you never know what you're going to end up with.
8. What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?
Tubing down the river with friends, enjoying the outdoors.
9. What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Dusting, how do houses get SO dusty, SO fast?!
10. If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
Michelle Obama, I really feel like we could be come great friends, and spend evenings on her patio on Kalorama drinking wine while Barack is grilling burgers. I keep walking my dog in her new neighborhood, trying to make this happen.
11. Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad but it turned out to be for the best?
When I graduated high school, I was not able to leave my hometown, because my dad had 5 kids to put through college. Six months later, my mom told me she was pregnant with number 6. As heart broken as I was not to be able to leave for college, I would have wanted to come back to help my mom with my sister, and I wouldn't trade the time I had with her when she was born for anything.
12. At what age did you become an adult?
17, thats when I got a job and started contributing to the family. I haven't stopped working since.
13. What three traits define you?
Loving, Caring, Nurturing.
14. Ten years ago, who did you think you would be now?
I thought I would be a neonatal nurse, working at a hospital in El Paso, TX, married with maybe a kid on the way. None of that is true today, and I'm good with that, because my life is amazing!
15. What’s the coolest (or most important) trend you see today?
High schoolers being so invested in the world today. I think it's great hearing students talking about current events, they're thirsty for more, and they go out and research and learn for themselves.
16. What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
I would still be working with kids, probably at another non-profit. Kids are where it's at! Adults aren't as cool.
17. What advice do you have for kids who are struggling in school?
It's going to pay off in the end, you need to keep going. Your struggles now may seem large, but they're manageable, take it one step at a time.
18. What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
Girls are mean, Im so sorry they hurt you, don't listen to them. You are beautiful and fun to be around. Don't worry, you're going to go to a new school, and you are going to meet amazing people and you're going to meet this really loud, blond girl in Health class. That girl is going to be your best friend for life, so don't cry over those mean girls that make you eat lunch in the library. You are going places my dear, keep dreaming, because those dreams are one day going to come true.
19. How do you define success?
Success is sitting down, looking around you, smiling to yourself, and thinking, "Man, I love this life".
20. What is your favorite thing about working at Communities In Schools?
Having students come back and share their success stories with me. I love watching them grow into the amazing people I know they are.