Who knew that Marianna Salgado might have been launching a career when she got involved with UACE Operation: Military Kids (OMK) at age 15? That was four years ago.
As a member of the national Army Reserve Teen Panel, Marianna traveled across the United States working with other military teens and informing military leaders on teen views and attitudes. Since then, this University of Arizona business major and AmeriCorps member has worked on OMK mobile technology labs, which bring computer services to military gatherings such as festivals or conventions, and she's put together hero packs in Arizona, California and Georgia.
As a young AmeriCorps worker at the University of Arizona, she helped teens tell their stories through the Speak Out Military Kids program. She helped coordinate ropes challenge course and rock-climbing outings and plans UACE 4-H youth development events.
"We do a lot of team-building events. That's really our main goal," she said.
All of that work has set Marianna on a career path. She eventually wants a degree in hotel management, which she could use as an event planner – ideally as a regional coordinator for the Army Reserve Teen Panel.
Having a father who is active duty in the Army Reserve gives her a personal connection to the OMK program, and she wants to keep tapping that perspective to help others.