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Staff Spotlight: Jacob Aparicio

At Oasis, our staff is continuously striving to create spaces that welcome and affirm young people from all walks of life. It is important for youth to have positive relationships with adults that have similar lived experiences. Jacob Aparicio, WeCity and Building Bridges Program Coordinator, works everyday to center youth voice and youth leadership. Proud of his Puerto Rican and Peruvian heritage, Jacob is most proud of his family's ability to maintain their identity in a new country. To him, Hispanic Heritage Month is all about acknowledging Hispanic people as important members of our community and society and honoring and celebrating their contributions.
When asked about what part of his family's heritage he is most proud of, Jacob said:
"Maintaining our identity within a new country. The majority of my family moved to the United States in 80’s and was a difficult situation for them. They needed to overcome poverty, deal with racism/discrimination, learn a new language and adjust to a new culture. All the while, they still maintained a strong cultural identity and raised me & my family with cultural traditions of our homeland. At young age my dad taught me Quechua, the indigenous language of the Incas. My family also would (and still do) celebrate traditional holidays/customs from my grandfather’s village of Bolognese, Peru. I’m sure our customs will change with time if we continue to stay in the US but will always be rooted back to the homeland. We’re proud Americans but America just isn’t the United States, it covers the whole of North, Central, South America & the Caribbean."