These past months, as we’ve all adjusted to a new daily routine in the wake of COVID-19, many of us have grown accustomed to this new sense of normalcy. And yet, there are still thousands of people who go above and beyond every day to provide essential services and care in the midst of this pandemic. Today, we’re proud to honor four of these individuals as #SWKHeroes, and we’re just getting started.
A little while back, we put out a call for nominations for #SWKHeroes—people working at Southwest Key that co-workers noticed as particularly amazing while we all help each other with COVID-19 awareness and prevention. We quickly had the best kind of problem: Too many submissions to count!
So, congratulations to Celia Garza, James Gonzales, Gladys Sanchez and Guillermo Flores! Thank you for showing us all your amazing resilience and heroism.
“Have faith, stay strong and know that we are in this together!”
Security Monitor — Casa Padre
Celia is well known by Casa Padre’s staff for her spectacular positive attitude, always willing to assist wherever she’s needed. While she mentioned how lovely it is to feel appreciated this way, she was quick to remind everyone about necessary precautions in the age of COVID. “My advice would be stay safe, keep using social distancing, wear your PPE, wash your hands and disinfect!” she said.
“Keep pushing through. Right now, things can be tough not only on us, but also others around us—and the important thing to remember is remain positive. One word of encouragement can be enough to spark motivation in someone to make it through a difficult time.”
Clinician — Casa La Esperanza
Even though James joined Casa La Esperanza recently, he’s made a huge positive impact. His work has made the youth there significantly happier in such a short time. When the kids need someone to listen to their concerns or worries about the pandemic, James is always there to help them work through it.
“Knowing that we are doing as much as possible to ensure the kids and staff are well taken care of…That’s what gets me through my day.”
Shift Leader — Casa Rio Grande
There’s an entire list of reasons why Guillermo is a #SWKHero, and each one would be enough to earn the title. But for Guillermo, it’s never been about being recognized, it’s about the impact of the work itself. If you’re in a leadership role during the age of COVID, here’s what he recommends: “Even as we’re all facing tough and uncertain times right now, as someone in a leadership position, you must remain calm and collected. Always be there for others to address concerns and set a good example to follow.”
“Really, everyone is doing the best and most they can. Be gentle on yourself, do as much as you can and be OK with that.”
National Director of Clinical Services – Youth Justice
Gladys is busy each day working to help youth get back on track, stay in school and find new opportunities. When asked about her thoughts on being a #SWKHero, she said that she felt humbled. “I’ve been lucky to have great supervisors at SWK who ignite my passion. Every day, I get to say my soul is fed through my work.” And like so many others, as we all weather the struggles of COVID, she recommends being compassionate with yourself and taking things one day at a time.
Visit our Facebook page to congratulate a #SWKHero!