As the director of electric regional operations at San Diego Gas & Electric, there is no such thing as a 9-to-5 work day for Jorge DaSilva. He gets notifications on his smartphone around the clock when power outages and emergencies occur and crews are dispatched to troubleshoot. He manages a department where many field crews work shifts around the clock to respond to emergencies, such as when a car hits a power pole and knocks out power.
“It’s a great job,” he said.
Despite the demands of his job, Jorge (he pronounces it as George, the way it is pronounced in his native country, Portugal) finds time to give back to the community. He is a volunteer and a board member for STAR/PAL, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “empower underserved youth to build a safer and more prosperous community by engaging with law enforcement and collaborative partners.”
Starstruck at First Sight
All it took was one introduction to STAR/PAL and Jorge immediately felt the connection that inspired his deep commitment to the organization. At the first STAR/PAL event he attended, he was struck by a young man who spoke about how both of his parents had been in and out of incarceration. A challenging situation that, with the support of role models and the impact of STAR/PAL, he would eventually overcome. This triumphant young man then announced that he had received a full scholarship to UC Berkeley.
That interaction reinforced what Jorge already knew: it is important for young people to have access to opportunities and role models, and that he can make a difference by getting involved with STAR/PAL. It’s a natural fit, as Jorge was a reserve police officer for about 15 years.
“With my background in law enforcement, I have seen first-hand the impacts that positive role models and relationships can have on shaping the future of our youth. To be able to get personally involved is a privilege, and a position I am very grateful to be in.”
In addition, Jorge has helped STAR/PAL raise money for its programs, which include leadership development, violence prevention, and excursion opportunities. Through the Going to Bat for San Diego giving initiative, SDG&E has provided $40,000 to support STAR/PAL's youth development and empowerment program.
“Whether it be through exposing young adults to career paths with SDG&E, or securing funding for our programs that serve 4,500 youth throughout San Diego county every year, Jorge is an incredible example of giving time, talent and treasure to help an organization accomplish its mission,” Claire LeBeau, STAR/PAL’s executive director said. “We couldn’t do what we do without incredible board members like Jorge DaSilva!”
Volunteerism starts with finding an organization that shares your passion. Interested in volunteering at STAR/PAL? Learn more here.