On Making a Difference: Jennifer Villarreal

Growing up in the Bay Area but also from an immigrant household, many of us can relate to the intense work-ethic that was often ingrained in us from the jump. Like most, Jennifer Villarreal watched her dad work hard in networking and building connections in his business. Selling wholesale Mexican snacks to local grocers, Jennifer often tagged along on these trips. Between the meetings and the deals, she fondly remembers of the time spent with her dad and how it has inspired her to pursue business. 

However, Jennifer wouldn’t have called herself the most outspoken person if it wasn’t for her time working with others through Silver Creek’s business program. The classes and people she worked with piqued interest in entrepreneurship. “I think because of Silver Creek’s business program it really caused me to break out of my shell.” What she values most about the business program was the variety of people she was able to build relationships with as well as connect to. In particular, the time she felt the most heard was at a business competition hosted by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship at San Jose’s city hall. “I felt like I was given an opportunity to sit at those big tables that kids, where I come from, aren’t always heard,” Jennifer said.

As she’s still learning more about entrepreneurship and what the field has to offer, she has just started interning with SJWorks with a focus on finance. “I’m grateful for the opportunity and the doors it may open for me in the future,”Jennifer said.

Beyond business, Jennifer is involved in various activities such as Cheer and Silver Creek’s Latino Student Union. In everything she does, she is often drawn to them for her belief in making a difference for the community. Especially with her work in LSU she enjoys,“celebrating my culture at school and introducing more people to our customs and traditions that otherwise go unnoticed.” Furthermore, she loves to help people look beyond themselves and push for a better future for students within the community. “I want to help Latinx students be informed and create goals for higher education or opportunities ahead of them.”

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