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Although a newcomer to the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, Alex Zubelewicz is a longtime Los Alamos resident who has shared his time with the community.
He said he loves the outdoors, and he’s applied that passion to volunteering not only for PEEC, but also for other organizations in New Mexico and around the Southwest.
Zubelewicz began volunteering with the Santa Fe National Forest doing trail work. “Unfortunately during the winter and early spring, everything stops because the ground is frozen, so I wanted to start volunteering elsewhere. I liked the idea of finding an organization in Los Alamos, because it’s more convenient for me,” he said.
He said he would continue with the trail work when the weather is warmer.
Zubelewicz looked at VolunteerMatch.com and saw PEEC was in need of someone to do data management.
“It is a great way for me to fill up my time. Los Alamos as a community is small, and I’m trying to meet more people because I feel that sometimes I need to get out more. It’s an everyday adventure — you never know whom you’re going to meet,” Zubelewicz said of his volunteering experience.
Zubelewicz will partake in his next adventure this month as a weeklong project in Utah, repairing bridges and trails.
When not volunteering his time, Zubelewicz is the special events and campus safety coordinator at University of New Mexico-Los Alamos in charge of planning both the internal and external events.
Working at the university quenches his thirst for meeting new people, just as volunteering does. “As a community-based college, UNM-LA holds a lot of external events free of charge for the community, like tutoring for high school students and support groups for adults and teens,” he said. “It’s a great resource for our community, which I think some people may not realize.”
Born in 1986, his family moved around quite a bit, he said, finally settling in Los Alamos in 2002. He graduated from Los Alamos High School.
After graduation, he received pre-business degree at UNM-LA and was working at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a student intern. Later, Zubelewicz graduated from the Anderson Business School in Albuquerque. “I have very nice memories from the other States (Illinois, Texas and New York), but now I am proud to be New Mexican and my home is here in Los Alamos,” he said. Zubelewicz’s interests are hiking, reading books, going to the movies, camping and traveling. He considers travel an adventure and has gone to many places. His favorite trip, he said was when he was in the second grade and he visited relatives in Poland. “That was an adventure because it was a different culture and language entirely. I didn’t speak a lot of Polish, so it was hard to communicate,” he said. “It was a culture shock, but in a good way. Things tasted differently, they used different money etc. It was an experience.”
Zubelewicz has a fraternal twin brother Michael is a volunteer with the Albuquerque Mountain Rescue Council and also fan of rock climbing.