Ahwatukee Foothills resident Moses Sanchez is all about service. A full-time family man, Sanchez is also everything from board member to published author, and he seems to be involved in every aspect of life here in Ahwatukee.
Ever since first moving to the area almost 10 years ago, Sanchez has made an effort to give back to the community any way he can. Almost immediately, Sanchez became involved with the Ahwatukee Kiwanis Club and was elected as the club’s president three years in a row; he is currently serving as a board member.
“(The club) is all about the children. We’re all about service and fundraising, and all that money goes right back to the area’s children and young adults,” said Sanchez when asked about Kiwanis’ role in the community. With two children of his own (Shannon Gilpin, 17, and Liam Sanchez, 15), Sanchez understands the importance of supporting the next generation of a community.
The previous year, however, Sanchez felt what it was like to be away from his children and his wife, Maria Manriquez-Sanchez, for over a year. In February of 2011, Sanchez was deployed to the Middle East, serving three months training and a total of nine months in Afghanistan doing counter-insurgency operations. Sanchez was handpicked for these operations (essentially counter-intelligence operations), and spent his service talking to detainees and attempting to gather any possible information from them.
“My job wasn’t to interrogate,” Sanchez explained. “We had the power to help them with room changes, and to speak on their behalf during their reviews.” This made the detainees almost friendly towards Sanchez and his peers, allowing Sanchez to gather pieces of information to pass onto his superiors.
Even while deployed, though, Sanchez couldn’t help but stay involved. A professor of macroeconomics at South Mountain Community College (SMCC), Sanchez, remarkably, was able to publish his book, “Macroeconomics: What It Is and Why It Matters,” while in Afghanistan.
“I read a book on macroeconomics and thought it was bias, so I decided to counter it,” said Sanchez, laughing. “I wrote it in 30 days.”
The book is actually the second time Sanchez has been published. In 2004, Sanchez’s first book, “Republican or Democrat,” was released, which addresses being a minority within the two major political parties. Sanchez also is hoping to publish a third book based on the communication he shared with his wife through their letters while he was in Afghanistan.
After publishing for the second time and returning from his tour in Afghanistan, Sanchez quickly returned to teaching at SMCC and is still teaching macroeconomics, along with technical analysis and advanced option strategies.
“I’ve been teaching there since 2009,” he said. “I think I’ll be there forever.”
Sanchez is also continuing his involvement in politics, hoping to be placed on the ballot this November for a seat on the Tempe Union High School District (TUHSD) Governing Board. Currently, Sanchez is the only local pursuing the position, saying that Ahwatukee has not been represented on the board for 12 years.
“Mountain Pointe and Desert Vista are the two largest schools in the district, with no representation,” he said. “It’s sad.”
For Sanchez to be considered an official candidate, he must collect the signatures of 400 registered voters from his district. For more information on Sanchez’s bid for candidacy or to donate to the campaign, visit mosessanchez.com/donate1.
Sanchez’s race for TUHSD Governing Board member is really just an extension of the service he has already given to the Ahwatukee community. For six years Sanchez was on the K8 Committee, an organization of parents, teachers, and administrators who help the Kyrene School District make decisions. On top of everything else, Sanchez has coached soccer since 2004 with the AYSO and the YMCA, as well as coaching volleyball for one year.
When asked why he is so involved, Sanchez’s reply is simple: a belief in service.
“Get off the sidelines and do something for others,” he said. It’s this mentality that has made Sanchez give so much back to his community with his time and even more so with his dedication. For him, community service seems to be more of a lifestyle than a couple hours at the local soup kitchen. Maybe it’s time we take the same approach.
• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Mitchell Hammer is a senior at Desert Vista High School. He is interning this summer for the Ahwatukee Foothills News.