We’d like to introduce you to RISE Planning Committee Chair, Kassandra Huhn. Actively involved in the community, Kassandra is helping organizations like UTEP and the Rio Grande Economics Association reach their goals. Read on to learn more about October’s Member of the Month.
Tell us about yourself.
Hi there - my name is Kassandra Caroline, but you might hear people refer to me by my initials / nickname: KC. I came onto this whole Downtown scene while I was working toward my Master of Science degree in Economics at UTEP (picks up). I interned at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, El Paso Branch’s research department. Oddly enough, my internship at the Fed ended on a Friday and I started my next internship with the Borderplex Alliance that upcoming Monday. I am currently the Vice President of Workforce Development and Analytics for Borderplex Alliance. Outside of work, I have become a repeat UTEP P-3 program offender (definitely recommend). A byproduct of working at the Fed – I am the Treasurer of the Rio Grande Economics Association where, aside from typical “treasurer” duties, I am rebranding and creating a new website for the organization! As you’ll probably guess, I am also a member of RISE and was appointed as the RISE Committee Chair this year.
What made you want to join RISE?
While at my first internship, I became good friends with my coworker Dylan (shout out to the June 2018 Millennial of the month). He let me tag along with him to some RISE events and advocated that I become more involved in the group. He recommended me to the Planning Committee, and I’ve been hooked ever since. RISE is a great way to (1) really get involved in your community, (2) meet other young professionals and (3) grow as a professional yourself!
What is your favorite thing about the El Paso community?
Aside from being beautiful, quirky and symbolic – I would have to say my favorite thing about this city are the people. Cliché, but it’s so true. What more can you want from a person than to be humble, hardworking and family oriented. We treat each other with respect, lift each other up and are very genuine. The people here feel like family – the abuelita or tia at the store are as loving as my own. Friends are as close as family. This “big” town feels especially “small” when you find out your fraternity brother is best friends with your cousin, and nobody realized it till the baby shower. That’s Chuco Town for you - just one big family.
What would you say to someone thinking about joining RISE?
Describe your ideal day in El Paso. What stops are a must?
You have to start the day off early, like 5:00 am early. Head over to the Franklin Mountains, climb to the top and work up an appetite. Visit downtown for lunch – Healthy Bite or Dracs Cheesesteaks are a no brainer (well, unless you are on a diet!). Stay a while and explore the buildings Downtown – the Cortez building has some beautiful architecture. The San Carlos Building also has food, some quirky shops and a haunted staircase – I dare you to go up. Head up the street and spend some time at Tippy Teas. Make sure to get (1) a tiger’s milk shot, (2) strawberry tea and (3) some banana bread. Call it around 3:00, I would check out a movie at Alamo Draft house, but don’t eat anything other than the popcorn! You have to save your appetite for Kaedama Ramen, Sushi Garden or Sabertooth. If there is still some time, I would hope to check out a band at the Lowbrow Palace. I’d probably end the day off with a drive along the border highway with the windows down to Horizon city. A view from there toward El Paso can’t be beat.