KCRW’s January Volunteer of the Month

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Meet Gabe! You will never meet someone as warm and hard-working as Gabe. He started volunteering June 2017 at the Natural History Museum and joined the Summer Marketing Internship last minute. We’re so glad he joined the team! Gabe is the first volunteer to arrive and the last to leave. He’s always wearing a smile and makes sure to listen and connect with everyone. Gabe was selected as one of our Fall Santa Monica College interns and we were lucky to have him in the office. It was so wonderful seeing him grow these past months as a KCRW volunteer and person.

Here’s Gabe in his own words…

Where did you grow up and do you have any siblings? Pets?

I grew up in the vacation destination of Napa, California.It’s always kind of a weird backstory because it is so well known for wine. To me though it is a place where I was raised, and my regular hometown.  L.A feels so formative so I feel like I’m growing up here too. I have one brilliant brother who lives in Silverlake. I’ve had the whole gamut of pets, and currently, live with two snooty cats.  

What 5 things would you wish you had if you were stranded on a deserted island?

  1. Dang. Tough question. 

    Speekerboxx/The Love Below by Outkast

    A grand piano 

    A soccer ball for juggling 

    A machete because it’s deserted island style 

    The entire Calvin and Hobbs anthology.  

What is your current occupation / what do you do outside of KCRW?

Outside of KCRW, I am student and barista. I work with one of my best friends at a café and study/play music. I love exploring L.A and being creative in my time off. 

What is your fantasy occupation?

My fantasy occupation would be a conglomerate of a bunch of different things. I’d love to tour playing music, produce, host a radio show or podcast, and work in film. The bar is too high I think.  

When did you first discover KCRW?

When I moved to L.A in 2016 I attended a lot of concerts. KCRW was always associated with my favorite artists in some regard. Then I started tuning in and fell in love with the station and all of the programming. truly.  

How did you find your way to our station for volunteering?

As I pursued piano at Santa Monica College, I met someone in one of my classes who worked at KCRW. Later he said that he’d started out as a volunteer which I didn’t know was a possibility. My brain ignited, fireworks went off, and I became a volunteer shortly after 


What’s your current volunteer position and how long have you been at it?

Currently, I am a front desk intern and event volunteer. Both are really fun. I also just started doing production assistance which is a complete blast.

How has being a Santa Monica College student helped being involved with KCRW?

Being an SMC student has helped tremendously with my involvement with KCRW. I found out about volunteering through another student. Also, I later got an internship via Santa Monica College with KCRW. That internship truly had a profound impact on me and was amazing. In short, a lot. 

Favorite volunteer moment?

Hmmm. That’s a really tough one. All the events I’ve done have their own kind of unique flare. It’s a two-way tie. Watching my favorite artist perform live on Morning Becomes Eclectic was mind-boggling. Also, the African American History museum was so vibrant. The music, the people, plus I felt a real comradery with the other KCRW staff and volunteers that night.  

If you could get on the mic and say one sentence on the air, what would it be?

Oh man. I’m getting goosebumps.  

Los Angeles, it’s Gabriel Reis, take care of each other, listen to phenomenal music, and let’s all be best friends.”  

What song(s) have you hit repeat on lately?

Vibrate by Outkast

Half-light by Rostam

Cha Cha by DRAM  

Wild Hunger by Hamilton Leithauser (feat. Angel Olsen) 

Roll Over Beethoven by Chuck Berry 

Favorite book, movie?

My favorite book is Monkey Mind by Daniel Smith. It’s this hilarious memoir on anxiety. It found me at a really crucial time in my life. Favorite movie is Donnie Darco. It’s this weird movie with a young Jake Gyllenhaal and it’s just so captivating.  

Favorite thing to do outside the station?

My favorite thing to do outside of the station is listening to tunes in a coffee shop, and take some deep breaths. 

What does KCRW mean to you?

To me, KCRW means so many things. KCRW means staying true to your values as a person. It means, not being afraid of being your authentic self. Not being afraid of putting yourself out there in whatever way that is. Lastly, KCRW means forgetting about the minutia of life and just listening to dope music. 

Gabe is a literal ray of sunshine! We’re so happy he’s a part of the KCRW family!