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Volunteer of the Month - Jessica Zaragoza

Jessica Zaragoza is the Community Outreach Director at the nonprofit organization, GH Community. She learned about STEP five years ago when the Gaylord Hansen team volunteered at our annual Sharing the Joy holiday event. She said it was a wonderful experience and her team immediately knew they wanted to provide STEP with ongoing support.

“I wanted to volunteer with STEP, because their programs provided the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and join together with other community members to make a difference in the lives of our military community,” Jessica said.

Jessica typically assists at STEP’s events, but recently she’s been helping out with a wide variety of tasks due to several emerging needs. STEP recently moved to a new office space and we are assisting with urgent needs in our military community as they arise, including the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the USS Bonhomme Richard fire, and the tragic training accident out of Camp Pendleton.

Lately, Jessica has been helping STEP with everything from building shelves and organizing our new warehouse to driving trucks and assisting with our food distributions. “You never know what to expect when you show up to help, and that’s the best part,” she said with a laugh.

Her favorite memory from volunteering at STEP was driving the cargo van for the first time. She had never driven a large vehicle and was very nervous, but she pushed past her comfort zone. “On to the box truck,” she joked. Learning to drive our large vehicles is one of the many rites of passage we can all relate to here at STEP!

In addition to her volunteer work with STEP, Jessica also works with San Diego Youth Services, Just In Time For Foster Youth, Habitat for Humanity, the 2nd Battalion, and 5th Marines located on Camp Pendleton, just to name a few.

When Jessica is not out serving her community (which is quite often!), she enjoys hiking, yoga, long distance running, exploring new places, and painting.

Want to volunteer like Jessica? Apply today at


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