2023 Spirit of Volunteerism Honoree

Published: March 31, 2023

Honoree’s Name: Jennifer Santillian

Why This Volunteer is Extraordinary:

Jennifer Santillan’s commitment to making an impact in her community through mentorship with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County (BBBSOC) began in 2017. Jennifer volunteers as a corporate mentor through BBBSOC’s Workplace Mentoring program at Disneyland Resort — which offers students a jump start in their professional development with exposure to major corporations and 1:1 time with accomplished mentors like Jennifer. She has volunteered hundreds of hours her time to mentor both high school and college students, and she has continually demonstrated a passion for philanthropic work and youth empowerment. That’s why this year, BBBSOC was proud to name Jennifer its 2023 Workplace Mentor of the Year. During this latest cohort of mentees, Jennifer has been a fixture of our Walt Disney Company and Katella High School BBBSOC-facilitated sessions. She makes every effort to regularly stay in touch with her current mentee, Samantha, who has benefited not just academically and professionally, but who has also learned about creating a healthy balance between work and personal life from Jennifer. “I love getting the opportunity to volunteer my time by being a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Workplace Mentoring program,” Jennifer said. “I want to make sure these mentees know they have someone that can be there to encourage them, listen to them, guide them when needed and care for them during this important time of their life. I feel like I learn through her eyes just as much as I hope she sees the possibilities of a great future through mine.” And when it comes to her mentee, Jennifer couldn’t be prouder. “Samantha is one of the most ambitious mentees I’ve ever worked with and it has not only ignited a brand-new fire in me for mentoring, but I also get the privilege to be her cheerleader. Her energy matches mine so beautifully and makes this experience even more fun. It’s rewarding for me when she knows she can text me out of the blue and it’ll be as if we just spoke the day before.” This partnership between the Walt Disney Company and Big Brothers Big Sisters has given Jennifer the focus and space to align her personal values with her professional values and share them with Samantha. “Every session is an experience I will never forget.”

One thought on “2023 Spirit of Volunteerism Honoree

  1. Thank you to Jennifer for all she does for the Orange County community!! We’re delighted to honor you this year.

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