By Diana Garcia

Meet Joe Arellano-Villegas. He currently lives in Dallas but spends lots of time in Austin. He is the first in his family to graduate and attended St. Edward’s University in Austin where he got his Bachelor’s in Photo-Communication (2014). He later went back to school a bit before the pandemic to Dallas College to get an Associate’s in Applied Science in Graphic Design (2021). Joe has had a variety of careers, gigs, and volunteer opportunities from helping students on film sets, to retail, to school photography, photo editing, and now shifted towards a career in graphic design. He is currently freelancing and a volunteer at Dallas Fuse:  a HIV prevention treatment center and STI education safe space.

Joe shares his experience as a volunteer of EGBI and how you can get involved too.

Hi Joe! To get started, would you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?

I was looking for clients to volunteer for on Catchafire and saw an Austin company called EGBI. And the former Austinite in me said, “Well I definitely have to apply.”

How have you volunteered for EGBI?

I helped design some information flyers for entrepreneurs in order to distribute information they might need to start and/or run their business.

Why do you think it is important to volunteer?

Nonprofits sometimes need help since the people who work for them do a lot for the communities they engage with. If I can help take a load off of them why not help.

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” -Charles Dickens

Why is it important to volunteer at EGBI?

Starting a business is hard, especially for communities of color, which have historically been disenfranchised in the process. EGBI helps those in Austin learn, incubate, and grow so that companies that are starting or struggling to find footing have an easier time navigating such a process.

What would you say to someone thinking of volunteering with EGBI?

Volunteering in any capacity is an act of love because you are willing to go into a space and offer help to those who might need it. Be open to communication and always listen to what the needs of those who are asking for help. Everyone at EGBI is really nice and wonderful to work with.

In 2020, EGBI volunteers put in more than 130 hours to help EGBI support and serve over 400 small businesses. Volunteers like Joe make this possible and continue to help EGBI pursue their mission of training, coaching, and supporting aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.

Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can volunteer or donate.