Ana Silvia Galeano began volunteering with CHEER in June 2019. In looking for an opportunity to be involved with the community, Ana responded to a CHEER announcement for an Events Coordinator posted on the Montgomery County Volunteer Center website. Since then Ana has helped the Engagement and Leadership Development Team with multiple events. In particular, she helped with help picnic events with the parent group (CONEXO) at the New Hampshire Estates Elementary School (NHEES) and with a local group in Takoma Park located on Maple Ave (the Maple Tree Group). CHEER Empowernment and Leadership Development Coordinator, Vanesa Pinto, stated that Ana relates easily with CONEXO parents as she is pleasant and friendly. At the NHEES block party in September, Ana needed little instruction and was immediately responsive to what needed to be done. At the Maple Tree Group picnic in October, one of our community health workers, Anthea Levy, indicated that Ana helped serve food and assisted children with the pinata. Ernesto, Ana’s husband, joined in the community gathering as well. Ana’s assistance was essential to the success of these events. Ana and Ernesto are from Bogota, Colombia; they currently live in Rockville, MD. They have three adult children: Javiar, Carolina, and Daniel. Javiar and Carolina live close to Ana and Ernesto while Daniel lives in New York. Ana and Ernesto have 2 grandchildren. In May 2018, Ana graduated with an Associate degree in Hospitality. Her other volunteer experiences include helping at events like the DC Jazz Festival, as well as Montgomery County Family Services, and MANNA events. Ana says that her participation as a volunteer with CHEER showed her how to empower community members to achieve a better quality of life. She also learned more about people outside of her own community. In particular, Ana shared that she enjoyed her participation in the Maple Avenue community event. She had the opportunity to interact with the Ethiopian community and learn more about their culture, especially the importance of coffee preparation. She learned Ethiopian traditional dance! She found Ethiopian food to be delicious and very healthy. Ana had fun while being able to help CHEER when it was needed. Thanks Ana! We are so happy and fortunate to have you as part of the CHEER community!