I have been with Gateway Shelter for 20 years as of June 2022. I love the work that I do at Gateway. Although my title is Bi-lingual Advocate, I take on many different roles, including individual support and psycho-educational groups. I enjoy working with the children too and have had them help me do some gardening in our backyard, play basketball, and do other fun activities. I truly enjoy working with teenagers. I’ve also been known as the fix-it person for small repairs around the shelter. This is a way for me to give back and create hope to show others that strength is something that comes from within us. We can do anything we set our minds to do.
My major was in Criminal Justice. My plan was to become a Police Officer; I went on to study at Community College of Aurora to obtain my Certification as a Victims Advocate. A close friend of mine encouraged me to join the Gateway Team, and I love the job and the work I do. Working with our clients is very rewarding, and it’s the best feeling when you see their success as no longer a victim but a survivor of Domestic Violence.
Even more so, building relationships with our Survivors and having them come back to visit or call, sometimes years later, not seeking help but to say thanks for all the support and effort our staff provided to them and their families. There are so many stories to tell after so many years at Gateway. I feel very confident when I say Gateway has made a huge impact in so many people’s lives, and this is something I hear from our survivors often. This is one of the reasons I stay; as long as I can make a difference in someone else life, I will continue to be the best I can be.
Outside of being one of the most energetic individuals on our team, I played for the X1 Juego Centroamericanos y del Caribe in 1970; my team landed in third place in the Olympics. In addition, I love to skate and play softball, and I also taught physical education at an elementary school for 14 years.