Farewell to Juan: A Legislative Fellow’s Perspective
by Juan Carlos Saladin, Legislative Fellow who worked at Youthprise over the past month through a professional exchange program. More info on the Partners of the Americas Legislative Fellow program can be found here.
Before I talk about myself, I prefer to tell a little more about the people that inspire me to be me: my mother, brother and two uncles.
My mother is a warrior, who fought for our wellbeing, has an independent and powerful spirit, and is modest about her intelligence and culture. She is an incredible woman with a beautiful vision for life. My brother has been with me every moment of my life and is my best friend; he is and has always been there for me.
I also have two uncles that have taught me much about logic and pragmatics. It might sound funny but I compare them to Plato and Socrates. Daily, they teach me something new about common sense and how to use logic to solve daily problems at my work and in my life.
Now, a little bit about my life…
I studied at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) and joined a group of industrial engineering students called Comité de Estudiantes de Ingeniería Industrial (CEII) to help young students with their university programs. While with the CEII, I created and facilitated seminars and workshops to support students with everything from how to work in a team to staying updated with our programs internationally. After that, I joined a nonprofit called Juntos por Sonrisas (Toys for Smiles). We collected toys during Christmas to gift to kids that would otherwise not receive toys; to this day I still volunteer with this nonprofit.
While still in school, I interned at the largest law firm in the Dominican Republic, Guzmán Ariza, where my two uncles work as the President and General Manager. One year after graduating with my degree, I began my specialty in business improvement and then continued with my master’s degree in management and productivity. Five years later, my work is in management consulting for international clients that come to the Dominican Republic to invest or retire and need a business plan to identify what do every step of the way. I coordinate closely with my uncles, with lawyers and with the eight offices around the Dominican Republic.
I am also the CEO/Founder of Requisitos.com.do, a social web enterprise dedicated to informing people in the Dominican Republic how to obtain an ID or drivers license, renew their passport and other rights related to personal documents. All information is free.
I then joined FUNDACION CRECIMIENTO ESPIRITUAL MOTIVADO AL SERVICIO, INC. in 2013. FUNCREEMOS is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting, sponsoring and providing safe space by building a Center for Spirituality that has adequate conditions to develop activities in accordance with the pedagogy. I work in the department of planning which gave me the opportunity to apply to the Legislative Fellowship program with Partners of the Americas [www.partners.net] and the Department of State of the United States, where I served for 5 weeks as a Profellow at Youthprise.
Additionally, I am part of a group that supports and encourages young entrepreneurs to focus on developing their own projects. Right now, we are called Professional Entrepreneurs Network (Red de Profesionales Emprendedores in Spanish, RPE). Comprised of eleven people, we are continuously working on the mission of the group. We want to change the business thinking in our country to create new opportunities for youth with brilliant ideas.
All these experiences in my life have helped me to be the person I am today. It has guided how I want to use my expertise to create a better world for everyone around me, which is what I strive for every day.