Reports show that the average age Millennials choose to get married is in their mid to late 20s, but not every young adult fits the trend.
Pueblo native Destiny Camp Meza, communications coordinator for The Greater Pueblo Chamber and Visit Pueblo, moved out of her parents’ home and was married by the time she was 16 years old.
Meza dropped out of school for a year, but was able to catch up and graduate on time from South High School in Pueblo. She graduated from Pueblo Community College as valedictorian in 2015 and was fourth in her class when she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in English from Colorado State University-Pueblo in May.
Meza said she had to grow up quickly, which helped her succeed in school.
“It was a big accomplishment, so sometimes I just have to sit and be thankful for where I come from,” said Meza.
Thanks to her degree, connections and two internships during her last semester, Meza was hired by the chamber the same month she graduated.
Now 22, she is pursuing her master’s degree in English at CSU-Pueblo while also working as the communications coordinator for both the chamber and Visit Pueblo, an organization that works out of the chamber officed to attract visitors to the city.
Meza, the chamber’s only Spanish speaker, provides all of the advertising, marketing and communications services for chamber members and events, and unveiled two new projects — a member-of-the-week feature and a weekly newsletter. She’s also in charge of three interns.
This week, she discussed her work and the status of Pueblo’s business community.
Why did you decide to work for the Greater Pueblo Chamber?
I’ve always been passionate about volunteer work and working in the community. In my last semester of college I was doing those two internships, I was volunteering a lot — public service has always been something kind of close to my heart. So me being interested in community work and public administration — it kind of just all worked out.
I think it’s really neat that there are so many people here who have been working in Pueblo for so many years. I have a lot to learn. Just how the chamber’s so interconnected with the community and all the things they do. It’s very busy, so it’s fast-paced. One week you’re doing one thing and next week you’re shifting gears to another event. Last week we had the Medal of Honor convention, this week we have the Chile Festival. I like keeping busy. [And] a lot of the members we’ve had have been members for years and years. I think it’s cool to have sustaining relationships like that.
What has surprised you about your job?
There are a lot of things in Pueblo that, living here my whole life, I didn’t know were even here. One really cool thing that the chamber does is we’re actually really involved with our legislators up in Denver. During winter they do a legislator breakfast, so all of the legislators and people from Capitol Hill come down here and actually talk with people in Pueblo about politics and what’s going on. I didn’t know just how involved the chamber was in the Colorado community as a whole.
What advice would you give to other young professionals?
I would say don’t be discouraged. I know sometimes … there’s not a lot out there and people are looking for experience, so go out and find an internship even if it’s not paid. Keep seeking volunteer opportunities, ways to meet people, anything you can put on your resumé. I know when I started here, not only do I look really young, I sound really young, so it’s kind of taken a while to prove myself. It’s one of those things where even though it is scary working with all of these established people who have been in their positions for a long time, you kind of have to say, ‘Hey, I have a degree and I have some experience and I have something to offer.’ You’re going to go as far in life as you put yourself.