A Degree of Confidence

Michael Camacho


Michael Angelo Camacho was already working diligently for the Diocese of San Diego, putting his accounting degree to good use for an organization that es­pouses his values, when a natural, but personal, question arose. “What do I want to do next?”

He knew he wanted to elevate his skill set and overall development. After he earned a nonprofit management certificate from USD, he wanted more. “I was still hungry,” he says.

So he took the next step. Camacho entered the School of Leadership and Education Sciences master’s program in nonprofit management and leadership in 2014. In May 2016, he walked across the Jenny Craig Pavilion stage to accept his degree.

“This program has definitely prepared me for real life. I’ve learned how to advocate for issues I believe in, I’ve learned how to fundraise for nonprofits I work for and I’ve learned the importance of empirical evidence in proving our effectiveness in the work we do.”

He learned from quality faculty members who are also practitioners. His cohort went to Guatemala to study NGOs. He traveled to Sacramento to lobby for part-time workers’ rights. The curriculum strengthened Camacho’s passion for the Diocese’s mission and helped implement projects for a local nonprofit that supports human trafficking survivors.

“I’ve applied something from pretty much every class I’ve taken to my work with Children of the Immaculate Heart (CIH).” And his input helps CIH function better, allowing employees to focus on helping the afflicted and coming up with solutions for U.S.-Mexico border issues.

USD has many examples of projects that thrive in an interdisciplinary setting. “I believe the diocese and USD need to collaborate on educating people of all ages,” he says. “And this program challenged me,” he adds. “Not just the classes and the professors, but also my fellow students who challenged me to become a better version of myself.” — Ryan T. Blystone

Learn more at childrenoftheimmaculateheart.org

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