Meet Michael: The first Sociology intern to join the OMPT team!

Recently, OMPT welcomed a new intern and volunteer to our staff. We sat down with each of them to learn a bit more about their studies, interests, and hopes for this internship.

First up, meet Michael Santillan, in his last year at Chico State.

Tell us a little bit about your major and how you got interested in the field.

I am a senior at Chico State studying sociology. I was initially studying criminal science and wanted to be in the FBI but after taking a sociology class in community college I had changed my mind to want to help society in a more humanitarian way. Then changing my major to sociology. 

What made you feel passionate about helping others and society?

I started off being very interested in how the brain works and reacts in certain situations. Then I tried to apply it to my own life and community. I looked at issues I felt like I could make a positive influence on. After some research, my mind traveled globally and I started looking at real-life societal issues we all deal with every day. I then tried to brainstorm how I could help these people to make an impact on them. I have since been problem-solving and evaluating how political conversations could make a big difference.  

Have you always been passionate about political/global issues? If so, what are some of the topics you’re most interested in?

I wouldn't say I was always really into politics, but I think I always had an opinion. It hasn't been since I got really into sociology and applied some of these issues like gun control or homelessness to my own life that I became more interested.

What dreams or goals do you have with sociology after college?

Michael’s favorite picture from all of OMPT’s projects

Michael’s favorite picture from all of OMPT’s projects

After college, I would love to have my own nonprofit someday about a pressing issue I'm passionate about fixing. Along with homelessness and gun control, I also find at-risk kids in impoverished areas to be very interesting to work with. I think there are some systematic issues within our government causing kids in certain areas or races to be at a higher risk for gang violence, or to abuse drugs, be involved in domestic violence, or abusive relationships. These are the issues I would like to invest in learning more about and help solve the problem.

How will you use your experience at OMPT to help you in the future at your own nonprofit?

I am really excited that I have this opportunity with OMPT in the field of nonprofit and humanitarian support. In my time interning at OMPT I am going to be a sponge soaking up all the ins and outs of the nonprofit sector. I want to learn how to run my own someday so I need to know how they think, run their organization, and do their logistics. This is my first initial experience in this field so I'm really excited to bring some of the elements I learn here into my own organization.

What’s something you want to work on or a skill to improve here at OMPT?

I would like to work more on computers and become more tech-savvy. I would also like to learn the CRM they use in their office, Salesforce. I am interested in learning and performing social media marketing with OMPT, too.

Finally Michael.. What’s a fun fact about you, or a hobby you like to do in your free time?

Well, I'm from LA and have played baseball for 15 years. My absolute favorite thing to do in my free time is to watch sports on TV, any type of sports really. 

Stay tuned for our interview with our volunteer, Tim!


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