Q&A with Graciela

Graciela Jauregui is the Volunteer Program Coordinator at Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse. She has been in the field for nearly two years. Originally from Yuma, Arizona, Graciela moved to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona between 2008 and 2017 and earned four different degrees.

Graciela Jauregui smiles at the camera.

Graciela Jauregui, Volunteer Program Coordinator at Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse

Graciela J.'s dog Mr. Fluffs

Graciela’s dog is named Mr. Fluffs.

How did you get started in this field?

I never thought about being a Volunteer Coordinator, it just kind of happened. After finishing school, I was looking for jobs in the nonprofit and public health sector and was introduced to Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse by a friend of mine. He told me about the work that they do and the services that they provide to those affected by and experiencing domestic abuse and I was inspired by their mission, philosophy, and vision. I applied for one of their administrative vacant positions, but they had other plans for me, becoming a Volunteer Program Coordinator.

At first, I admit I was a bit nervous because I felt like I did not have enough volunteer management experience, but I did have a long track record of volunteer work and assisting volunteer managers. This December, it will be my second year as a Volunteer Program Coordinator at Emerge and I’m loving it!

What is one technique or strategy that you have learned in working with volunteers that has helped in your career?

A technique that has worked well for me, when recruiting volunteers for our agency, has been to speak about the work and services that Emerge provides to our community and the work that volunteers do that makes a difference in the lives of those affected by and experiencing domestic abuse. Most volunteers look for opportunities that are close to their hearts and are rewarding, and as a result, they look for opportunities that make them feel like they are making a difference. By speaking about what our agency does, they are not only learning about the services we provide, but they are also learning why we need volunteers and how impactful volunteer work is for the organization, as well as for our participants and their families.

What is something that you learned that has been really helpful in your career?

I have learned to expect the best and prepare for the worst. From my experience, the volunteers that I have worked with have been very reliable and are always ready to do work, but it always helps to recruit more volunteers than needed, just in case you have no-shows or someone has an emergency. I also recommend asking volunteers for feedback (once or twice every year, if they are regulars) or after every event (if they are one-time volunteers). This feedback is very helpful when preparing and recruiting for future events and/or volunteer positions.


What is one key advice that you would give to a volunteer manager?

Some key advice that I would give to other volunteer managers is to get to know your volunteers, be approachable, and try to make their volunteer experience as fulfilling and rewarding as possible. I know that this could be difficult with many volunteer positions, but I know they will appreciate it and will want to continue their service

What are some “other duties as assigned” that came with your position?

Aside from running the Volunteer Program at Emerge, I am also responsible for some program development duties for the agency. These can range from setting-up a staff/volunteer training, translating participant forms/documents, staffing a tabling event, or updating agency protocols and procedures.

Describe a memorable moment with volunteers.

When you work for an agency like Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse, every moment with volunteers is a memorable one. I love to see volunteers smile when they see how impactful their work is for participants and their families and how even the smallest tasks make a huge difference in their lives.

What is your strength in this role?

One of my strengths is my ability to connect with volunteers. I like to get to know them on an individual basis, learning about their hobbies, likes, dislikes, favorite food, and connecting with them so that they feel comfortable coming to me with any questions, concerns, suggestions, feedback, etc

How do you unwind after a stressful or long day of work?

After a long stressful day at work, I unwind by taking a long shower, walking my dog (Mr. Fluffs), cooking a hearty meal, and watching one of the many Netflix series that I enjoy watching.