Candidate for Buda City Council, Place 3: Buda council candidate Jurika is a successful immigrant story

Virginia Jurika arrived in America in 1996 from her native Chile and in three years completed her B.A. in English at Florida International University while also working full time for a telecom company to pay for her education. She went on to the University of Pennsylvania for a master’s degree in Organizational Dynamics while also working full time at the Wharton School. 

At graduation, forgoing high offers from the corporate world, Virginia followed her heart, joining the Peace Corps for $200/month. Sent to the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, she pioneered early programs for women’s rights, health, and education, living in isolated areas in often stark conditions.

That was the launching of a career in humanitarian aid that indeed began in Chile as an International Red Cross high school volunteer escorting inner-city children from poor neighborhoods in the capital of Santiago to summer camps. For two weeks, each of the children had their very own bed with clean sheets, three meals a day and countless activities they had never enjoyed before.

The impact of that early experience has since guided Virginia as she worked in Iraq, Uzbekistan, South Sudan, most recently in Venezuela with Doctors Without Borders, managing international aid programs and projects in difficult times, places, and circumstances and even war zones with skills in HR, budgeting, research, planning, collaboration, diplomacy, analysis and execution. 

Her people skills work across boundaries that are not only geographic but human in nature, and with a background in organizational dynamics she is adept at analyzing situations from an involved but independent perspective that allows for opinions from all quarters. This has meant gathering input, assembling differing viewpoints, possibly dealing with finite resources while getting everyone pulling in the same direction for the benefit of the community.

Virginia also holds a Certificate in Project Management from the University of Texas, Austin. A Buda resident since 2009, member of the Lions Club, YMCA, Buda Chamber of Commerce, Buda Planning & Zoning Commission, Buda Police Foundation, Saint Elizabeth’s Church, and volunteer school crossing guard. Semi-retired, bi-lingual, and able to work full time for Buda’s citizens without compromises, nor beholden to any bureaucratic or corporate interest, no hidden agenda, not working for a business depending on unbridled development or contracts with the city of Buda. To hear more about Virginia’s  priorities for Buda, contact fortheloveofbuda@gmail.com.

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