Rafael Gomez (he/him/his) was born and raised in the city of Fresno, California. Rafa spent a lot of his youth observing his community and wondering about the causes of the conditions he saw and the forces at work that brought people such as himself, his family, and friends, to their present conditions as well as influencing their decisions, thus where they are going. This search for answers led to a broader quest for knowledge, which met with a density of life experience to bring him to where he is now, trying to make a positive change in his community. As an adult, Rafa moved from the perspective of being moved and molded by your environment, to moving and molding your environment to make it the world you want. For him, this has looked like a lot of volunteer work with different organizations, working alternative mental health to help people with their trauma, and informal culture work to create healing spaces. Currently, he is pursuing higher education, working at a Rage Room, and working towards Food Sovereignty in his community by building networks and working with community gardens. Rafa hopes to expand his skills and the services he has to offer to his community by participating in the OEI program.