Amanya Gonzales

Author: Jenifer Eggleston

Amanya Gonzalez

Amanya is a 2020 Summer intern and worked on the Advanced Manufacturing team.  Amanya is a junior at Elkhart High School and was a high school intern of the year nominee. Originally from San Antonio, TX, she moved to Elkhart with her family in 2018. 

How did this experience affect your view and attachment to the South Bend/ Elkhart region?  Often when people say they want to help save the world, they overlook their own community. However, in every community, problems are waiting to be solved. Elkhart county has provided me with countless opportunities to grow and expand my knowledge. It has given my family a home. Elkhart has given my brother the childhood I never had. Working for CCI, only strengthened my love and attachment to the community. This experience allowed me to give back what I could to the community that has given me everything. Elkhart has become my second home. I feel a strong attachment for the people that are a part of this community. This experience allowed me to work with individuals that wanted to make a positive, long-lasting impact. I feel that the culture of this community is one that I believe is welcoming and positive. If anything, my experience is something I am beyond grateful for. 

What was the most rewarding experience in the program? Making an impact was by far, the most rewarding part of this experience. I think before I was a part of CCI I didn't realize just how many people lived here. While working for CCI, I began to realize that those numbers were actually people, and those people all had individual lives. If I could help just one of those lives wouldn't that be a huge impact. Working for CCI gave me insight into who I wanted to become. I want to help people and what better way to that then in my everyday life? Now I don't just see a number, but I am able to see the individuals and their lives within that number. And to me, that was the most rewarding experience.

 How did your experience in the program enhance your academic and professional goals?  Before being a part of this program I wanted to open up my own business. I was interested in primarily entrepreneurship and anything creating to business, and with this in mind, many of my classes focused on this. When I began to work on our project my love for both sustainability and this community grew.  I found great joy in solving problems and working on a team dedicated to helping people.Toward the end of the internship program, I realized that I wanted  to continue to learn and help people. I would say that the program revealed a passion of mine, and it's one I plan on pursuing in the future.