WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - "I've always wanted to take a hard look at some of the deepest, most challenging issues that we face in community,” said Vanessa Pacheco. She is making a difference both on and off of Purdue's campus.
Vanessa Pacheco is one of seven women being recognized at this year’s YWCA Salute to Women. She serves as the Coordinator for Civic Engagement at Purdue University.
"Doing work like mine requires that we ask questions that we're afraid to ask and then not be afraid to hear the answer,” said Pacheco.
Since moving to Lafayette, she has helped run Purdue's ACE Campus Food Pantry. It provides food and basic needs for students, faculty and staff who deal with food insecurity. "We really wanted to create something that felt like a community for the folks that are coming to the pantry,” said Pacheco.
But the contributions reach beyond just campus.
She helped create the Younger Women's Task Force of Greater Lafayette. The organization helps break some of the social norms women face. "They might not consider again, to not be leaders. And we consider that to be a shame,” said Pacheco.
Having the right to raise families in a safe and healthy community is also a focus for Pacheco. She has plans to continue to help grow the community around her. "I want to continue to challenge myself about making sure that the folks I work with succeed,” said Pacheco.
The salute will be held this Tuesday at the Trails Banquet Facility. The event starts at 5:30 pm.