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[LOCAL TALENT]

VALENTINA GIRALDO-SERVANT SEEKER

Giraldo was born in Cali, Colombia, but was predominately raised in Charlotte. Giraldo has three siblings, two here in the States and one brother in Colombia.

She’s lived in Greensboro for almost five years. Graduating from UNCG with a Public Health Education Degree in 2014, Giraldo has now returned to UNCG as a pre-nursing student. Currently Giraldo is working at Ruff Housing, a local doggy daycare and has just started her serving position with AmeriCorps.

Her official title is ESOL Instructor and Interpreter but she is currently acting as a case worker with nine families. The Ameri- Corps office is based out of the CNNC office located on Gate City Boulevard, in the Lofts on Lee building.

“It’s going really well, this is going to be my second week. I’m excited but also extremely nervous,” Giraldo said. “I’ve heard we are called Gate City because of the high numbers of refugees and immigrants that settle here.”

With her family’s history and background she chose this position because it struck a chord with her personal story. “Coming here I think my parents tried to mainstream me so much, to make me as American as possible. And myself too, emotionally I didn’t understand what being an immigrant was, or how to be proud of that. There was no safe space, I don’t feel like I have a right to be as Columbian as I am. I acculturated as fast as possible, I learned English fluently in less than six months.” With her background, Giraldo explains it makes sense for her to not fully understand who she is culturally. “A part of the reason why I’m serving with Latino Immigrants is because I want to figure out what it means for them, and maybe figure out who I am along the way .” !

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