Inspirational Murals: Colorful Endeavors from the Heart
As we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th to October 15th, it's an honor to shine a spotlight on exceptional individuals who make invaluable contributions to their community and workplace. Today, we proudly introduce Jacqueline Barraza, our Senior Construction & Operations Planner, whose dedication and commitment to fostering community, culture, and connection is truly inspiring.
Finding Empowerment through VOZ
Jacqueline Barraza joined our VOZ Employee Resource Group (ERG) in November 2022, and her involvement has been nothing short of remarkable. VOZ is a vibrant community within our company that celebrates Hispanic heritage and culture while championing diversity and inclusion. For Jacqueline, this group has become a source of connection and empowerment.
Jacqueline passionately shares, "Being a member of VOZ is important to me because it has allowed me to connect with people who have the same motivation in fostering community, culture, and connection.”
For her, the sense of belonging is not just about shared experiences, but also about embracing the diversity within the group. Jacqueline mentions, "It brings me joy during meetings when I hear a fellow VOZ member’s accent, as it reminds me that this is a safe space where your unique story, words, and language are not judged but warmly embraced and appreciated."
When asked about the value of joining VOZ, Jacqueline enthusiastically encourages others to do the same: "Have you ever wondered if someone has had the same experience as you, especially in the workplace? I find inspiration in learning from individuals who hold the same values as I do. My determination, resilience, and perseverance are deeply rooted in the sacrifices made during my upbringing and family life and knowing that my fellow VOZ members resonate with these experiences brings me comfort."
“Jacqueline’s perspective encapsulates the essence of VOZ and our goals as an organization to create a space where diverse stories and backgrounds are celebrated,” says Rosie Sandoval, President of VOZ and Digital Content & Creative Services Manager.
Jacqueline’s Art Inspires Connection in the Community
Jacqueline's commitment to community and culture extends beyond her involvement with VOZ. She is deeply engaged with the local Hispanic community in various ways and uses her talents as an artist to create connections within our region. Her journey began at her son's elementary school, Chula Vista Learning Community Charter School (CVLCC), where she was asked to create a mural representing "Comunidad." This endeavor not only ignited her creativity but also marked the start of her involvement in community projects. “The school’s foundational pillars of Dual Language, Global Perspective, Social Justice and Community Engagement fit our family’s values,” said Jacqueline. “It was through Community Engagement that I was asked by our community board member to create a mural for the school that represented ‘Comunidad’ which represents programs that work to enrich the mind, refine leadership skills and bring the community together. Eight days and approximately 40 hours later we finished my most colorful endeavor.”
One of her most cherished experiences involved creating a mural for National City's Community Service Day. Jacqueline worked tirelessly to outline a mural on plywood, which volunteers later completed at Las Palmas Park. The mural, aptly titled "Together We Can," stands as a symbol of collaboration and unity within the community.
Her most recent and notable involvement was in the 2023 Chicano Park Mural Restoration, where she played a vital role in restoring and completing the Mecha Mural, a project two decades in the making. Despite the long hours and hard work involved, Jacqueline describes the experience as truly remarkable. "Being involved is important to me because it allows me to not only contribute and connect with the community but also serves as a reminder of my roots," she explains. Her commitment to her heritage and the communities she serves is palpable.
“We salute Jacqueline Barraza for her unwavering dedication to fostering a sense of belonging, celebrating culture, and making a lasting impact on the communities she serves. She’s a vital member of our team here at SDG&E and to see the impact that she’s also making out in the community is inspiring,” said Jacqueline’s supervisor, Construction Manager, Jerry Stewart.
Through her passion, Jacqueline hopes to spread the word that whether it be through art, meaningful conversations or sharing your story, there is power in connection. “Being able to share in art and community has brought me a great deal of joy. My hope is to continue creating conscious art that speaks to the community. I want to be a source of positive change in people’s lives and inspire others to do the same. And even if we can’t help someone feel better, at least we can help them feel seen.”
Thank you, Jacqueline, for all that you do!