April 2021 Peer Advisor of the Month: Jessica Quintanilla, University of the Incarnate Word

Photo of Jessica QuintanillaFrom Phillip Rangel, Team Leader at UIW: “Her engagement with her advisees, for a being a new PA, has been off the charts. She has made contact with 100 percent of the assigned students and has had positive two-way communication. Her logging activity is detailed so that the UIW PAVE leadership can read the whole picture of her two-way communication. Her narratives are informative! Words that describe Jessica: Caring, Engaged, Reliable, Accessible, Service, Unselfish. Her highlights include providing local housing information to advisees who recently relocated to San Antonio after their military service; providing information to survivors of the recent Texas Deep Freeze Disaster, such as advice in contacting FEMA for Disaster Relief Funds and insurance filing advice; referring multiple students to the UIW Military and Veterans Center concerning VA Education Benefits; providing contact information about Navy Marine Relief Society’s $600 relief grant; providing contact information for relief grant from Air Force Aid Society; sending text messages about relief grants being offered by Army Emergency Relief and Air Force Aid Society; and reaching out to advisees asking how they fared during the winter storm, if there were any residual issues.“

From Jessica Quintanilla: “As we evolve during the adjustments, it is nice to know that what we might be experiencing is “normal.” By being a sounding board, I might make the waves of change a little less dramatic. As a Peer Advisor, I contribute to the knowledge of the university through my logs. When transitioning out of the service there can be more variables that are not taken care of for you. As a Peer Advisor, I am the person who might be able to anticipate the questions they do not even know to ask. I have likely experienced what they are going through, and if I have not, then I know who to ask. It saves time and it is nice to know someone is there for you, specifically you. I can offer them a dose of confidence that they will make it through successfully. My favorite part is community. I love the networking and familiar style of how information is delivered. As a veteran we are taught to get it done and to stick it out. I love relating to other student veterans by either validating what they are going through or reassuring them that they do not have to do it the hard way. I honestly feel being a resource and sounding board for people is what I am meant to do. I feel right at home being a Peer Advisor.”