We recently sat down with Ben Sauceda, a member of the One Small Step (OSS) Conservative Community Advisory Group in Wichita, Kansas, to learn more about what drew him to become engaged in OSS.

Ben was encouraged to participate in an OSS interview by his friend, Dalton Glasscock, who was one of the first OSS participants in Wichita. Ben recorded his interview with his conversation partner in April 2022. Then, StoryCorps Founder and President Dave Isay came to Wichita to speak at the annual Wichita Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

“I like civic engagement,” Ben said. “Even though I’m a conservative guy, I think differences only strengthen us. I’m excited to encourage others to participate in OSS.”

“Conservatives are skeptical of the media,” he said. “We’re trying to get more people in and around Wichita, especially conservatives, to be engaged in these important conversations.” By reaching out to his network of friends, and through his role on the Park City City Council (Park City is a town just outside of Wichita), Ben is elevating the importance of OSS conversations and encouraging others to participate. “There’s obviously a group of people—on both sides—that don’t want anything to do with the other side. But there’s a large segment who are open to having a conversation. The more they hear what it’s like to participate, the more open they are,” he said.

Research commissioned by StoryCorps indicates that 1 in 5 Wichita residents are now familiar with the OSS program—a significant level of awareness after just two years of work in the Anchor Community.

In addition to serving on the Wichita Conservative Community Advisory Council, Ben also appears in the OSS Wichita ad campaign that debuted in May. “I’ve had people tell me they’ve seen me in a commercial,” he said. “A friend signed up and she said ‘I saw you did it and so I signed up!’”

Experiences like Ben’s help others see the value in participating in OSS. Learn more and apply to be matched today.