What year did you graduate from MCC and what was your major?
May 2016 with an associate degree in Education.
Before COVID-19, what were you doing?
I graduated from Rutgers Newark in 2018 with a BA in Public and Nonprofit Administration. While finishing my BA, I began my Master’s Degree in Public and Nonprofit Administration.
What inspired you to get involved with volunteering during COVID-19?
It is the right thing to do, at this time of uncertainty. It is my understanding of the concept of FAMILY. So, if there is something I can do for my family, I hope to do the same with the community.
What message would you share with others regarding volunteering and showing acts of kindness?
I think it’s important to try to understand people’s personal situation and see each individual beyond any prejudice. Being able to volunteer is an opportunity to put ourselves in the shoes of others and say “I’m here with you.”
NBT’s Community Hero — Diana Diaz Tapia
Diana Diaz Tapia joined the New Brunswick Tomorrow (NBT) team just over a year ago as the Program Associate for the Esperanza Neighborhood Project. She has worked alongside many of NBT’s partners to support local residents and businesses and also helps coordinate the popular community marketplace, Mercado Esperanza. Diana’s link to NBT goes back to her high school and college days, when NBT provided Diana a scholarship to attend Middlesex County College and supported her efforts to complete her degree.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Diana has been out in the neighborhood, helping connect residents and small businesses with needed services and assistance. As a long-time New Brunswick resident, Diana is committed to her community and to helping others.
As part of NBT’s Healthy Housing team, Diana has produced videos on tenant/landlord issues, informing the community about Governor Murphy’s measures to prevent evictions and foreclosures, as well as allowing tenants to use their security deposit toward paying their rent. Diana’s fluency in Spanish makes her invaluable in making sure residents have the most up-to-date information.
With Rising Tide Capital, Diana has created a WhatsApp group for local businesses to share information about programs available to help them through the economic impact of a statewide shutdown.
With Community Ambassadors, she has delivered meals to families throughout the city who are facing food insecurity due to lost jobs, unemployment or having to stay home to care for their children who are out of school.
Diana is working with partners Elijah’s Promise and coLAB Arts on creating a virtual Mercado Esperanza, so NBT can still support microentrepreneurs and celebrate the vibrant culture of the New Brunswick’s Latino community.