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Spotlight! Samantha Bahena (Leadership Institute Edition)

Updated: Jun 9, 2023


Name: Samantha Bahena


Pronouns: She/Her/Ella


Job Title: Career Program Specialist


Organization: Posse Foundation


Time in current role: 1.5 yrs


College/School: Northwestern University


Area of study/expertise: Sociology & Legal Studies/ Education


What do you like most about working in the non-profit sector? The passion that everyone has for their work.I enjoy connecting and working alongside others who also believe in giving back and making an impact on the community we serve.


Additional information you would like to highlight: I have 6+ years working in the non-profit education sector. My work is centered on creating inclusive spaces for youth and being an avenue or support to them.


What is your favorite hidden gem in Chicagoland?

The ultimate Chicago hidden gem is Dona Torta in Pilsen. They are most known for their tortas named after football teams, rockera bands, and latin@ icons. The bread used is baked in-house every morning and makes for the most crispiest bread and delicious torta.


If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

If I could learn anything, I would learn sign language. In the near future, I want to take an ASL course to help expand my communication and language skills.


Favorite place to volunteer?

My favorite place to volunteer is Chicago Scholars. As a first generation college graduation and child of immigrants, I know firsthand how difficult it is to navigate college applications and most importantly finding the right fit tor you. I’ve enjoyed connecting with young individuals and serving as a sounding board to them as they make difficult college decisions.


When are you the happiest? I am happiest when I’m traveling and exploring new cities. I enjoy visiting museums and learning about different countries' histories and culture.


How would you describe your job to a child?

My job is helping students, like you, to think about their future and how to connect the things you like to your future dreams. Whether it’s becoming a teacher, firefighter, or even if you’re not sure yet, my job is to help you along the way to achieve those dreams. It may not always be a straight path, but even twists and turn can help you on your journey.


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