Bridges that Connect Us
In this week’s blog, Camille Batiste, new Program Assistant for Engage San Francisco and recent USF graduate, answers four questions about her goals and passions in education and public service. Learn what motivates Camille to advocate for programs that support youth development and community building.
How did you arrive at the Leo T. McCarthy Center?
My name is Camille Batiste, and I am delighted to join the Leo T. McCarthy Center at USF as a Program Assistant for Engage San Francisco. I arrived at the Leo T. McCarthy Center in my last semester of undergrad at USF as a fellow in the USF in DC program. I was eager to participate in the USF in DC program because of the opportunity to connect with professionals in the career field of my interests — education, museums, and public service — while gaining real-world experience in the nation’s capital. In D.C., I interned for the Smithsonian Institution in the Office of International Relations, increasing public access to information and diffusing knowledge through global education programs.
Who is your role model and why?
A leader I greatly admire is my mentor Regina G. Jackson. At five years old, I began my involvement with the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC), of which Ms. Jackson was the CEO. As CEO of EOYDC for nearly 25 years, Ms. Jackson impacted her community by organizing youth-led initiatives with a vision and helping hundreds of young people achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals. Ms. Jackson recently expanded her community leadership, working on the Oakland Police Commission to oversee community-informed policies for the Oakland Police Department. I even had the opportunity to work alongside her and the Oakland Police Commission as a research fellow for the American Friends Service Committee, passing successful resolutions to demilitarize the OPD. My experiences with Ms. Jackson taught me to work collaboratively, lead with empathy and understanding, and become a better advocate.
What goals do you have for the McCarthy Center while working here?
While working at the McCarthy Center, I wish to contribute to the programs that support student development — intellectually and socially — so that our next generation of leaders can lead with sensitivity, humility, and innovation. I believe Dr. Joseph E. Marshall, Jr., namesake of the Marshall-Riley Scholars Living Learning Community at USF, said it best: “The more you know, the more you owe.”
What is your most recent “A-ha” moment?
My most recent “a-ha” moment stems from an idea that I often revisit with myself — understanding the bridges that connect us. My experiences, from wandering museums as a child to my position as Program Assistant, made me realize the importance of informal spaces in education and how it enriches a person’s understanding of themselves and their community. Environments that support the growth of individuals personally, socially, and academically like after-school programs, youth development centers, or Engage San Francisco, are vital to community building and longevity.
Learn more about Engage San Francisco HERE.