22 to watch in 2022: Youth leader Benjamin Rosel
Name: Benjamin Rosel
Title or position: Outreach coordinator for CURA Project and promotore for Latino Service Providers in Santa Rosa
On the job since: June 2020
Hometown: Born and raised in Santa Rosa, graduated from Montgomery High School
Why Rosel is someone to watch:
Rosel, a Santa Rosa Junior College student studying psychology, has been a youth leader at the forefront of serving the Latino community amid a global pandemic. As a promotore, or community health aid, for Latino Service Providers, he created a program to help parents help their children through discussions about mental health. Then when the pandemic, hit he joined CURA Project, an organization which connects Latinx, Indigenous, and low-income community members impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to community-based services.
As an outreach coordinator, Rosel directly works with community members in need by connecting them with local services like emergency relief funds, food delivery and legal aid. Last December, he helped a man living out of his car who tested positive for the coronavirus by connecting him with Isocare Medical Extenders Services, which provided a hotel room, hot meal and a safe place to quarantine. Seeing community members struggle is “sad to see,” Rosel said, but it’s fulfilling to help people find a light at the end of the tunnel.
Recently, Rosel has been helping to organize pop-up vaccine clinics and presenting clear, factual COVID-19 information to the community in both English and Spanish. He is also a lead promotore at Latino Service Providers and leads a team of students creating their own presentations on mental health. He plans to continue breaking down barriers for community members by listening, connecting them with services and being an advocate for their basic needs such as affordable housing, healthcare, mental health resources and access to information. He hopes to go into the mental health field in the future as a bilingual psychologist, a field in demand for the Latino community.
What others say about Rosel:
“Ben is someone who is definitely paving the way for young Latinos in leadership positions and he does that by amplifying the voices of those around him instead of speaking for them. Ben is someone is who people see as a pillar in the community and someone who they can talk to. He is very patient and resourceful. People know they can trust him and he’ll guide them to the best outcomes because he’s as invested in our community as our community is invested in him.” - Magalli Larque, a program manager at Santa Rosa-based Latino Service Providers.
What Rosel says about 2022:
“I hope in 2022, people will be more understanding of the basic needs of humans. For someone to feel fulfillment in life they need housing, a livable wage and access to health care. Now we’re all coming to this understanding that we need to work together. I think COVID was a big part of that. And I think in 2022 we’re going to hopefully understand that we need to work together to continue going.”
You can reach Staff Writer Alana Minkler at 707-526-8511 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @alana_minkler.