Family Affair

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Roman Sierra wants to give back to the community like his father

Christina Fuoco-Karasinski   College Times

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ecent ASU graduate Roman Sierra just wants to help people. Graduating after two years, Sierra admires the work of his father, Rep. Lorenzo Sierra.

“I’ve seen a lot of the good work he’s done,” Sierra says. “I want a good job where I can connect with the community and help people out. I’m not sure if that means going into elected office.

“I want to form my own career path and see what works for me and what doesn’t.”

Sierra has blazed his own path since he was a child. Sierra attended Arizona Agribusiness & Equine Center-Estrella Mountain High School in Avondale, and even went to Estrella Mountain Community College when he was 14. He earned an Associate of Arts degree from EMCC.

“I did dual enrollment there—completing my Associate of Arts degree the same time as my diploma in high school. I think education comes natural to me.”

The Avondale resident transferred into ASU Barrett graduated last month with a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in history.

As a youngster, he was involved with the Aguila Youth Leadership Institute, which provides leadership training and college preparation programs for young people, and the Arizona Leadership Academy, which trains young Democrats interested in running for office and exposes young leaders in the Arizona Democratic Party to local industry and political issues.

He volunteered with Kitchen on the Street, a nonprofit organization that provides meals for food insecure children in Phoenix and San Antonio.

He was a member of the Arizona Governor’s Youth Commission and participated in a statewide antidrug campaign called “Be Seen, Be Heard.” The campaign name is apropos.

“That was in my formative years of getting me out of my shell,” he says. “When I started in that group my freshman year of high school, I was pretty shy. I didn’t talk for two years. It was something I was interested in, but my school didn’t have a whole lot of opportunities like that with student government.

“The city filled that for me. I was able to see how you can get involved in the community. We also went to conferences in Washington, D.C., and that was steering me toward a government or political career. It was cool to see how things worked over there.”

At ASU, he worked with other students who transferred to the university.

“I’m now looking at positions at ASU,” says Sierra, formerly of Gilbert. “I had a student worker job while I was in college and really enjoyed it. That’s something I’m interested in and I want to gather more work experience with it.”

Sierra says his father has offered sage advice, giving him pointers in what to do and what not to do.

“I’m interested in history, politics and all that,” he says. “It’s a natural fit. I was able to help my father with some of his volunteer work when he was running for office. It’s been cool to be able to see it really up close and talk to a lawmaker directly.” CT

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