Volunteer Spotlight: Februrary

Each month, we highlight one of our rockstar volunteers!

February Spotlight:
Nelly Samaniego

“I met Nelly a few years before joining NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia at a rally, and we instantly connected. We volunteered together and have grown our common interest into a friendship. Nelly is always willing to help. Her experience working with Latino families through Jeb Stuart and the Stuart Educational Foundation and Glasgow Schools helps NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia connect and reach out to the Latino community in Northern Virginia. I’m so happy she is part of our most committed volunteer group!”

— Keisy Chavez, Northern Virginia Community Organizer

What makes you pro-choice?

Being pro-choice is not only focusing on reproduction rights, but It’s something else as well. It is the determination of a woman to decide what is good for her and to stand up for her rights.

What made you decide to get involved with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia?

I had heard of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia before, while volunteering for the Fairfax County Democratic Committee, but I became interested when Keisy Chavez, the Northern Virginia Community Organizer, invited me to many events and introduced me to the organization’s other passionate members.

What’s been your favorite or most meaningful NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia event?

One of the many meaningful events I attended was the first Pro-Choice Leadership Advocacy Summit at George Mason University in Arlington on July 2014. It was my first real encounter with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and their mission. That day, I became more informed about the issues NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia fights for, and that day I also learned that they are a voice for underrepresented women in Virginia. Listening to speakers throughout the day, empowering and inspiring all the participants to get more involved in women’s rights, was very meaningful to me.

What advice would you give to other volunteers or activists looking to support NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia’s work?

If you really believe in this cause and have the time, please get involved and lend your talent and passion.

Tell us a fun fact about you:

I am the current chair of the Diversity committee of the Fairfax Democrats. I was named FCDC member of the year in 2015. Advocating for, educating, and reaching out to underrepresented members of the community is my passion. In my over 18 years of volunteering since I came to this country, I have dedicated my time to doing just that. Beginning with being a Latino parent advocating at my children’s K-12 schools, I am also a founding member of the Stuart Foundations that gives scholarships to high school graduates who can’t afford post-secondary education (last year we gave over $106,000 in assistance). I also believe strongly in human rights and civic participation, and am an active member of DAAV, the Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia as the Fairfax outreach director, and the NAACP.


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