Cassandra Sanchez5forWPCassandra Sanchez believes that the most rewarding gifts are those that you have given to others.  She says her parents helped her learn, as early as kindergarten, that one person can improve the lives of many.

A 13-year member of the Girl Scouts, Sanchez participated in projects as varied as grocery shopping for the elderly to fundraising drives for local agencies.  With her parents, she spent holidays at a rescue mission.  As a teenager, she worked alongside the sheriff’s office to coordinate prevention programs that aimed to reduce impaired driving incidents.

While her thirst for community service may have developed in her hometown, it certainly wasn’t quenched there.  As a USF student, she is also a leader in USF’s Voto Latino program.  This past November, she helped to encourage her peers to become informed on the election and register to vote.  She served as a trained volunteer for United Way’s HandsOn Tampa program.  She also served as an office volunteer at Habitat for Humanity.  There, she found mentors amongst the agency’s leadership team and was soon offered an internship in the non-profit’s accounting office.

This wasn’t her first internship.  The Dean’s List scholar and triple major recently spent a summer as an intern at a local construction company where she invoiced clients and assisted the family-owned firm’s accountant in preparation for its New York State audit.

This summer, Sanchez will work alongside peers from the Associacion TransAmericana de Voluntarios En Solidaridad.  She will spend five weeks in Managua, Nicaragua, using her business education to help educate impoverished locals about entrepreneurship and personal and microfinancing.