By: Janet Villareal
It’s not every day I get to meet such an accomplished woman, so naturally, I was a bit nervous on my way to dinner with Miss Amanda Arizola, Program Manager for Financial Stability at Catholic Charities. Within minutes of our meeting, I realized she was armed with not only her very impressive accomplishments, but also an out of this world personality that just puts you at ease. It’s no wonder Ms. Arizola has dedicated her life in service of others: It’s second nature to her.
Indeed, Arizola has spent most of her professional career trying to help out her community in one way or another. By the time she graduated from UT Austin, she had served as a Legislative Aide to Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston), and was an active member of Kappa Delta Chi, a Latina Service Sorority. Since then, not only has she earned a double Masters in Business Administration and Health Business Management, she currently serves as Vice Chair of Marketing for Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas, is a board member of the Hispanic Wellness Coalition, served as the President of MANA of North Texas, is on the Community Advisory Board for KERA/KXT, and most recently, she was the Program Director for CHIMES (Consumer Health Insurance Market Place and Enrollment Services). These are only a few of the organizations she’s been involved with; there really is nothing this woman can’t do! Most of us aspire to somehow make a difference in this world, but Miss Arizola is set on making her wish come true. Find out what motivates to do her part in bettering our society, particularly for the Hispanic Community when it comes to healthcare and empowering Latinas.
Infórmate DFW: First tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you like to do on your leisure time?
Amanda Arizola: I was raised by a single mother, I have 2 brothers who were more like father figures to me, and 1 sister I am very close to. I’m the baby of the family. When I’m not working, I love to read and write. Las Comadres is a reading club I am part of and I read mostly short stories and books written by Latino authors. Most of the writing I do is academic or if I’m working on a research paper, and I do some creative writing for myself.
IDFW: I noticed some of these organizations you’re associated with promote Health Care. What sparked your involvement in health initiatives?
AA: It started before I graduated high school when I realized my sick mother just could not get proper healthcare. She didn’t really have consistent help anywhere, whether she was seeing a doctor in private practice or a clinic. I wanted to help others be able to navigate through the system.
IDFW: You are currently the Program Manager for Financial Stability at Catholic Charities. What kind of services does your department provide?
AA: We assist people and families in crisis by helping out with utilities, rent, and food. We also provide support with credit repair, debt repayment and financial management.
IDFW: What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment or proudest moment thus far?
AA: I’m really proud of my MBA, Masters in Health Systems. Also proud of the organizations I associate myself with such as the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas, MANA of North Texas, and Las Comadres, my reading club.
IDFW: Do you have a mentor/rode model?
AA: Anyone who has taken an interest in me has been a mentor, anyone who has allowed me to pick their brain has been a role model for me.
IDFW: What direction do you plan on taking your career in the next 5 years?
AA: I would like to be doing something at the Federal or International Level, and pursue my passion by becoming more involved in philanthropy and community service. I want to make our world better place.
IDFW: Any words of wisdom for the future generation of Latinas?
AA: Remember your culture, where you came from! Don’t be afraid! If it feels right, trust your instincts. Vote!! We all have a lot to say and a right to be heard.