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Getting To Know ...

Claudia Sanchez is currently serving in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) program in South Carolina. She has recently traveled and worked in New Orleans and Tennessee, and has lived in Burke her whole life. She is this week's People Profile.

Years in the community:

I have lived in the same house in Burke my whole life — 24 years.

Family:

My mom, Marcia, and my 29-year-old brother, Tonchi, both live in Burke.

Education:

I graduated from George Mason University in May 2003 with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and a minor in Spanish. After AmeriCorps I plan on attending graduate school to further my studies in psychology, but I am not sure as to where I will be going to school

Current job:

Currently I am in a program called AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps). This is a 10-month program, from early September through the end of June. In this program we do National Community Service in different areas such as education, the environment, unmet human needs and disaster relief.

Achievements:

Receiving a bachelor's degree in psychology is a major achievement for me, because it was not easy and I feel that education is one of the most important things in life. Also having been accepted in the AmeriCorps program and having been in for three months so far. So far we have done disaster relief in New Orleans and trail work in Tennessee, and we are currently doing an educational project in South Carolina. These are all huge achievements in my opinion because I have been able to help out different communities which have been in need.

Activities/interests/hobbies:

My hobbies pretty much include anything related to the outdoors. One of my favorite pastimes is going to the beach. I also love backpacking, hiking, camping, traveling, dancing and playing sports.

Favorite local restaurant:

My favorite local restaurant would have to be Mike's American Grill. The food is good and the atmosphere is also really pleasant. This place brings me good memories whenever I go because I went a lot growing up with my family and friends.

Community concerns:

Littering, lack of respect from neighbors, overpopulation. I think that if people would be friendlier to each other and work together to help get things done, this would help improve the community. If people would care more for not only their property and their own things but also that of others, this would help improve the community.

Community hidden treasure:

Just the all-around beauty of the natural things around us. I think if people actually took more time to think about all the natural things that we have and take for granted and all the times we tend to trash our surroundings and waste our resources, this would help us appreciate and take better care of our community.

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you "grew up?"

When I was younger I wanted to be a veterinarian. That has now changed. I still love animals but now I would like to pursue a career in the field of psychology.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself with a master's degree in psychology and hopefully with a really good job which I really enjoy, because money is not all there is to life. If you are happy at what you do then that is what is most important because you spend the rest of your life doing it. Also I see myself most likely married, living somewhere warmer than Burke!

Personal goals:

To find happiness and to achieve my dreams. I would love to further my education, get married one day, have a family and live at the beach. Also I would like to stay young and healthy so I can live a long and comfortable life. As long as I work towards achieving all of my dreams than that will fulfill my personal goals in life.

Do you know someone who should be featured in the Connection's People Profile? Send your nominations to Jon Whiten at jwhiten@connectionnewspapers.com or call 703-917-6422.