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Marissa Arzate

Hey there!  I have been volunteering with SCAP since my spring quarter starting in March 2016. I got involved with this organization when I returned from Ecuador last summer after working in an HIV clinic. Upon returning to Santa Cruz, I had a huge desire to get involved with community outreach to ensure that people all over Santa Cruz County were getting the education and support to reduce stigma and increase knowledge on HIV treatment and prevention. Currently, I am working in the SCAP office once a week and working towards getting involved in outreach a few times throughout the month, along with signing up for events when I have free time in my schedule. My initial volunteer project was geared towards reaching out to companies throughout the Santa Cruz County and beyond to get sock donations for the outreach packets our volunteers hand out. After reaching out to businesses, I was successful in obtaining sock donations from a local Santa Cruz shop, Socksmith, and Bombas Socks! In total, about 500 pairs of socks were donated to for our outreach packets. This summer I have started a new project in the office which is focused towards helping our clients with basic computer skills and housing searches online. During my time at SCAP, I have worked with The Homeless Garden Project to harvest lavender, tabled at Project Homeless Connect, attended the SCAP Client Speakers event and marched in the Santa Cruz Pride Parade. Each of these events have provided unique opportunities to get out in the community to de-stigmatize HIV and educate our Santa Cruz community members about HIV prevention and treatment.

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