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New Coppell resident and active volunteer Ana Laura Gamborino has enjoyed getting to know her new community.
"I have been in Coppell a little over three years," she said. "I like the atmosphere, and the people are very friendly."
She has spent many years in the Dallas area with her husband and three grown children, so finding her way in Coppell has been an easy transition. However, about 40 years ago when she moved from her hometown of Mexico City to the United States, it was a different story. It's safe to say Gamborino knows a thing or two about acclimating to a new place, culture and environment. In fact, she has not only turned that experience into a successful business, but it also makes up the bulk of her volunteer contributions as well.
What began as a side hustle translating documents for different companies has morphed into a full time, 20-year-old business teaching Spanish to anyone with the desire to learn — from high school students to business executives. When Gamborino isn't traveling around DFW teaching Spanish, she's often volunteering at the Dallas MEED Center, where she is a Board Member. The MEED Center works to assist refugees with English as a Second Language, computer skills and obtaining employment. Some of the people the Center has worked with have even opened small businesses like Gamborino.
"To see somebody learning and being able to survive here in the United States — it's a pleasure," she said.
Gamborino is also active in the Carrollton Women's Club, and she has served as the chairperson for the Jubilee of Cultures — an annual festival celebrating diversity in Carrollton — for the last two years. However, part of the acclimation process has been setting her sights on her new community of Coppell, so when Gamborino's daughter told her about Allies in Community — another opportunity to use her cultural experience in a volunteer capacity through the City of Coppell — she was immediately interested.
For Gamborino, making friends in a new place and serving her community have proven to be one in the same through the Allies program, which brings together volunteers from all backgrounds to help build a culturally inclusive and civically engaged community. The monthly meetings with her teammates along with workshops, which have included meals together and activities at Coppell's Kaleidoscope celebration, have been valuable tools for the cause. It has allowed the group to not only discover the vast array of wonderful people from all over the world living in Coppell, but also become great friends with those they may not have ever met otherwise.
"Volunteering is very satisfying for me," she said. "I love being a part of a team, and I will always continue looking for more volunteer work. I will always be involved."
Do good and feel good. Check out coppelltx.gov/allies for information about the Allies in Community program as well as other volunteer opportunities in Coppell.