Jessenia Gonzalez, a graduate in social ecology from UC Irvine, discovered the impact children can have on the world during her internship with Team Kids in the winter of 2023.

“Before interning at Team Kids, I had no idea how tiny humans had the ability to make such a huge and impactful mark on the world. Now, and even to this day, I love to spread the word about how impactful kids really are, no matter who they are or where they come from.”

Throughout her internship, Jessenia played an instrumental role in supporting our Lead CA Coaches in implementing the Team Kids Challenge program across schools in Orange County. She served as a mentor to elementary school students, empowering them to make positive changes in their communities.

Additionally, she contributed to special events, such as our Team Kids Unite Martin Luther King Jr. Day, held in collaboration with Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza Store, where children participated in a craft project expressing their dreams to change the world.

Reflecting on her experience, Jessenia shares, “It was such a beautiful moment seeing how creative the children were, and it was extra special to have the ability to help them break out of their shells and make them comfortable with sharing their dreams and desires for the world.”

Post-graduation, Jessenia is currently in the interview process for a Police Dispatcher role at the Bell Garden Police Department.

University scholars like Jessenia play an essential role in delivering the Team Kids Challenge program to schools throughout the region. To learn more about Team Kids’ mission to empower youth, please visit

Contributed by Angie Sarabia