10:48 AM

Making a lasting impact


American Family Senior Financial Analyst Alejandro Arango-Escalante reflects on how the company – and employees like him – touch lives and help communities.


On June 27, it was solidified that my decision to join American Family in August of 2015 was indeed a great move.


On that day an event that I, and other Multicultural Business Resource Group (MBRG) members, had been planning for a few months came to fruition. We hosted the first-ever Escalera Career Exploration Day at American Family’s National Headquarters in partnership with Centro Hispano of Dane County.

In Spanish, Escalera means “stairs” or “ladder.” Centro Hispano’s Escalera program supports Latino high schoolers as they takes steps to prepare for college and beyond.

Every summer Centro Hispano has 15 to 25 kids join their Escalera program, which, among other things, educates high school juniors and seniors on possible career options even before they go into college. The program is for Latinos in grades 9 to 12 and uses a national model to promote economic mobility through academic achievement, facilitate career planning and provide information about advanced careers.

Centro Hispano is the largest nonprofit in Madison, Wisconsin, providing services to the Latino community. It is an essential part of the community.

The event was comprised of speed networking with five American Family employees, all from various parts of the company. The kids probed our mentors on what they do, and how they got to where they are today. This part allowed the kids to get a view into various careers and the paths to get there. The kids also got a tour of the applied learning center, where we hold classes and test innovative technologies. They were able to learn about the steps American Family is taking to make the home more connected and safe. They were also exposed to the some of the training our auto claim adjusters go through.

The day ended with a panel discussion with our Agency Sales Vice President for the East region, Cesar Pinzon, Agent Yolanda Grajales-Sutter, and Talent Acquisition Manager Jeff Close. The discussion was focused on our panelists’ career paths and the obstacles they faced. This part was key as the kids – who were all Latino – could see themselves in Cesar and Yolanda.

This event proved to me that American Family truly wants to make a lasting impact on the communities it does business in. Making dreams a reality for these kids is paramount to our mission. The look in their eyes as they listened to our speakers was incredible. You could see their brains thinking about all the possibilities ahead.

Photo: Alejandro with his daughter, Liliana.