Elisa Orona

Why do you do what you do?

My journey line of service originates with being the only daughter of an Ecuadorian immigrant who believes in and is living, the American dream. In my experiences as a child visiting my family in Ecuador, I was saddened by the poverty and lack of opportunity. I committed to living in Latin America later in life, leading me to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala. Again, I was struck by how the lack of transparent systems and policies to support economic mobility resulted in a low standard of living for most. My pursuit of a career in service to communities is rooted in my appreciation of what the US has to offer its citizens but also my discontent with how a person’s race, ethnicity, zip code, and economic status can play such a determining role in their life outcomes.

What drew you to SFF and PBF?

My interest is to take another path on my service journey toward building new systems, implementing better policies, and harnessing this region’s economic power to ensure stable and dignified housing for all and an equitable distribution of resources and power to community wherein all people can thrive.

How would you describe your role?

I am part of a regional movement of multisector partners mobilizing to harness the values of equity, racial and social justice and the immense resources of communities, industry, and philanthropy to solve the housing crisis.

Are you involved in any volunteer activities?

I’m an active volunteer for my alma mater, Occidental College, as both a volunteer for the college’s Admissions Office and a member of the Board of Governors.