At Arrupe Jesuit High School, we enjoy shining a much deserved spotlight on those who not only bring expertise to the community but also possess unique experiences that will resonate with the students. One such staff member is Jillian Salazar, the Training & Education Coordinator in CWSP (Corporate Work Study Program), and co-moderator of Student Government. In this Arrupe Jesuit spotlight, we delve into Jillian's life, her path to education, and the impactful moments that have shaped her into the inspirational individual she is today.
Jillian's journey began in Colorado Springs but then she ultimately moved to Denver to attend Metropolitan State University of Denver. She graduated with a degree in Business Management and a minor in Spanish. During that time, Jillian encountered various challenges, financial struggles, and self-discovery, but her perseverance and resilience laid the foundation for her future endeavors and success.
Before joining Arrupe, Jillian's professional background was diverse, which started in the restaurant industry. Working her way up from a host to a front-of-house manager and later a Catering and Marketing Director, Jillian attributes her personal growth and fundamental values to her time in the fast-paced, customer-facing world of restaurants. The experience taught her valuable skills, including multitasking, effective communication, and the art of empathy, which she believes should be prerequisites for all.
Her journey didn't stop there. Jillian's adventurous spirit led her to become a flight attendant, fulfilling her mother's dream of seeing the world. Through extensive travel and cultural exposure, Jillian developed a "go with the flow attitude" and an ability to handle and embrace any challenge that she would encounter.
Jillian's entry into education was driven by her own experiences. Graduating from an alternative high school, she harbored a clear dream of helping young people of color, providing the resources and support she felt were lacking in her own educational journey. This aspiration led her to Arrupe Jesuit High School, where she currently serves as the Training & Education Coordinator.
In her three years at Arrupe, Jillian has made a profound impact on both students and colleagues. A memorable and rewarding moment for her came in her second year when Ms. Fuchs approached her with heartwarming news. Many students had mentioned Jillian as one of the adults they trusted the most at Arrupe. For Jillian, this recognition validated her commitment to creating a safe and supportive space for students.
Jillian recalls her middle school science teacher and volleyball coach, whose powerful presence left an indelible mark with her. During a volleyball tournament, Ms. Parence would consistently stand up for Jillian teaching her to use her voice, take up space, and stand up for what she believes in. Ms. Parence's impact continues to inspire Jillian's approach to education and advocacy.
Jillian Salazar's journey is a testament to resilience, and determination. As she continues to shape the lives of Arrupe Jesuit High School students, her story serves as a source of inspiration for all who aspire to overcome challenges, cultivate dreams, and make a lasting impact in their communities.