Alumni Spotlight: Saira Ramirez-Mingueta

September 6, 2023

Saira Ramirez-Mingueta
Team Leader, California Climate Action Corps 2023-24
California Climate Action Corps Alum ‚Äė23

Join us in celebrating Saira Ramirez-Mingueta, a California Climate Action Corps alum from the 2022-23 program year, who returns this fall as a Team Leader. In her previous term, Saira served at the University of California, Riverside’s Office of Sustainability and now takes on a leadership role supporting incoming Fellows in the 2023-24 cohort. A round of applause for Saira, her achievements, and her dedication to serving California communities!

Fellowship Highlights Collage designed by Saira Ramirez-Mingueta.

What inspires you about your service?

Knowing zero waste education, community outreach, awareness in climate action, and volunteerism is essential for our future and vital to food desert communities like Riverside and Beaumont (which have a landfill in their backyard) and other communities throughout California where children don’t see enough green space in their cities, or are food insecure.

Also, witnessing the impact of institutional injustice on my immediate family members and myself drives me to be an agent for my community and motivates me to continue learning and navigating, being comfortable with being uncomfortable in spaces where not many people look like me in leadership roles.

Reminding myself to be someone my younger self would appreciate also inspires me to not give up. Younger generations from disadvantaged backgrounds must know they belong in any professional room because representation matters, diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical in Climate Action and Sustainability, and their voices, choices, and actions can make a difference in our communities.

ūüéĶ Check out a playlist created by Saira that encapsulates her service experience.

What are your plans after service? What are your overall career/educational goals (“dream” job)?

My passion is storytelling! I’d love to continue implementing my creative writing, digital media, and communication expertise to advocate for underrepresented communities and create resources and projects to increase resiliency. I am also researching MA Programs around Sustainability, Climate Change Communication, and Public Policy, concentrating on planning for Climate Change and Sustainability. I don’t know exactly what my “dream job” looks like, but I know my heart is in helping people, fighting for climate action, being creative, and building connections. I owe it to myself to not limit my potential to a particular title or role but allow my curiosity, passions, and intuition to guide me.

Saira (far right) tabling for University of California, Riverside’s Office of Sustainability

How has California Climate Action Corps inspired you for next steps in your career or education?

The work culture, training, and networking opportunities at California Climate Action Corps and my host site, the Office of Sustainability at The University of California, Riverside, have exposed me to career possibilities I never imagined. My regional supervisor, Jasmine Pineda, has given me insightful guidance and has constantly cheered me on. The advice and flexibility from my site supervisor, Francis Mitalo and Fortino Morales, has been instrumental in navigating a new field. In addition, The Segal Education Award also motivates me to continue my education and professional development.

What advice would you give to a current CCAC Fellow?

Dear Current CCAC Fellow,

Thank you for your service, and I commend you for being part of the change and climate action we need in our communities.

You may not know each step you need to take or have all the answers to all the questions you are facing as a California Climate Action Fellow, and I’d like to remind you that it’s okay! Take a deep breath. Take care of your physical and mental health, and never stop showing up with optimism for a better future. Always have the courage to speak your mind and empathize with your team members. And remember to lead with a genuine sense of curiosity, collaboration, and advocacy to create inclusive solutions, and slowly but surely, you’ll figure out your next steps.

‚ě°ÔłŹ Be like Saira and become a California Climate Action Corps Fellow! Learn more & apply.

‚ě°ÔłŹ Access resources available to you as a California Volunteers service alum on our new Alumni Network website.

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