Dawn LaBonte and Emerlinda Castillejo get up every morning thrilled to serve. LaBonte, senior vice president for neighborhood relations and senior supervisor, and Castillejo, vice president/ neighborhood relations consultant, have been sharing their dedication and passion around social work as part of the Wells Fargo Social Responsibility Group for more than Twenty Years.
Part of their functions, says LaBonte, is “to assist students, staff member, and volunteers discover their inner benefactor.”
“We help people connect with compassion and supply them opportunities to see the world through another lens,” she states.
“Once that lens expands, each people sees our place in humanity in a different way and with a deeper empathy. It allows us to more fully serve our clients, our nonprofits, our neighborhoods, and ideally, the world.”
“And if we’re doing our jobs right, we’re assisting to develop the next generation of benefactors,” includes Castillejo.
At UNLV, this vision is being understood through the Wells Fargo First Generation Scholarship program, began nearly 20 years ago to promote academic achievement for low- and moderate-income trainees and families. The scholarship needs that receivers perform 40 hours of social work each term.
“Everybody must do it,” Wells Fargo Scholar Nicole Trujillo shows.
“Offering at 3 Square and the Shade Tree ladies’s shelter made me realize that my needs are really different from other individuals’s requirements. It provides me a much different point of view.”
Trujillo was born in Las Vegas and raised by a mommy who operates in housekeeping at a Strip resort. After graduating with AP honors from East Profession Technical Academy, she registered at UNLV unsure of where her educational journey would lead, but with a conviction that she wished to help individuals.
She thought that indicated a career in social services, but getting a job as an usher at Caesars Colosseum showed to be a surprise.
“I realized that assisting others is central to hospitality,” she says. “I never would have recognized that had it not been for UNLV.” She is now a junior in the Harrah College of Hospitality. “Individuals spend their hard-earned money to come to Las Vegas. I feel that my job is to help surpass their expectations. I wish to give back to the neighborhood.”
“Because of the Wells Fargo Scholarship, I can see graduation in my future. I’ll have a degree from one of the very best hospitality programs in the nation. It is so rewarding for me, and a huge offer for my household.”
Find out more about UNLV Foundation giving programs.