Creating a helpful collaborative and community-based environment is the core focus of our Community Associate, Jessica Solorzano. Jess, along with our Community Director, Raychel Espiritu set the intentions and energy of what Toolbox LA is about as soon as you walk through the door. Jess is a San Gabriel Valley Native, born in California and raised in Cuernavaca Morelos, Mexico the first 11 years of her life. She is currently studying Marketing and Sociology at California State University with an interest in Social Entrepreneurship. Jess’ curiosity and eager to help her community gravitated her in the direction of SoCal’s largest innovation hub, Toolbox LA. The diverse background she has been part of allows her to navigate through the core values of our community. We welcome her and look forward to growing and innovating with the next generation of creatives.
Your full name
Growing up, what did you think you wanted to be?
When I was a little girl I wanted to be a lawyer. I grew up in a house full of women studying law, and as my aunts got ready to prepare for their exams I served as their assistant. My role was assigned to ask questions based on the flashcards they developed, next thing I knew I was learning law myself. Not to mention, my passion and love for Law and Order Special Victims Unit, grew an interest in me to fight against crime and unfair situations experienced by locals in the community I lived in.
What did you study in college?
I am currently enrolled at California State University Northridge, in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and David Nazarian College of Business and Economics. I aim to graduate with a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and minor in Business Interactive Marketing.
What was your first job?
Working in the food industry at Baskin Robbins located in Monterey Park, CA. At age 16 I became a shift leader. It was there where I learned the meaning of being a team player. I served as a key holder and would open and close the store. At a young age, my boss gave me the opportunity to work part-time while attending school. The team was very supportive and served as guidance in my transition from high school to college. The connections and relationships I developed from this opportunity are something I will forever be grateful for.
What has been your favorite job?
I have honestly really enjoyed every job experience I have acquired. However, if I had to choose one, it would have to be serving as a freelancer for Lancome Cosmetics. It was a seasonal position and I was working two jobs at the time but my love for makeup really had the time to shine in this experience of my life.
Describe your ideal work environment.
Natural light and open space. My ideal work environment is one that is centered around working as a team and one that allows everyone’s talents, creativity and curiosity to flourish. I find that I work best in an environment that is empowering and positive, no matter what the work is that I’m doing.
What makes the fire in your belly burn / what motivates you?
Working closer to end stigma and stereotypes in our current society. Finding ways to give back to the community and help bring awareness to environmental justice.
When you’re not at work, how do you spend your time?
On my free time, you can find me spending time with my dog, hiking, attending conferences/networking events, going to concerts, reading self-development books with a charcoal mask on, and volunteering within my community.
What three words would your parents use to describe you?
Persistent, independent, caring.
What’s your favorite get sh*t done quote?
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” -Walt Disney