In July, we began spotlighting some of our amazing staff members who have demonstrated inspiring resilience during the challenges presented by COVID-19. Our teams serve children and families in need across the nation. Our services are essential to those we serve and our staff have worked hard to continue to do their work safely throughout this pandemic.
A #SWKHero is a Southwest Key employee whose co-workers have nominated as particularly motivating while we all help each other through COVID-19 awareness and prevention. Today, we’re proud to honor four more #SWKHeroes.
Congratulations to Danny Cardenas, Emily Martinez, Reina Cossio and Jessica Rivera! Thank you for all you do for the youth and families we serve.
“Be kind to yourself in these difficult and uncertain times.”
Clinician — Casa Fortaleza
Danny has gone above and beyond his responsibilities as a clinician, sitting down with youth and coworkers to help them as a counselor during such troubling times. Often described as selfless, Danny clearly values compassion and models this by example. “Leadership starts with accepting that you will make mistakes so that you will be more compassionate of others trying to grow as well,” he said.
“While I have had my share of ups and downs, the families I work with all amaze me. They’re so strong and do all they can to help their children.”
Program Director and Case Manager — Youth Justice
Emily has spent countless hours working for her community and her program, finding inspiration in the youth and families she serves. She’s thoughtful about the danger that COVID-19 poses, emphasizing that safety is key. “Always be safe,” she advised. “I have had a couple of family members contract the virus and thankfully they are doing well and recovered. This no joke and in order to continue doing this much needed work we must stay safe and healthy. Always wear your mask and stay 6 to 10 feet away when speaking with clients.”
“We are changing lives. With every interaction we have, we make an impact in their life, and hopefully they can pay it back by making a positive impact in someone else’s life.”
Program Director — Casa Amanecer
When COVID-19 first started to impact the U.S. in March, Reina remained calm, hopeful and transparent with her team at Casa Amanecer. She’s worked hard to reassure the safety of youth and staff in the shelter. The first thing Reina mentioned when we spoke to her was how thankful she is for her team at the shelter. “Everyone at Casa Amanecer is so collaborative and passionate about the mission of Southwest Key. I couldn’t do my job without them, and I am grateful to work with every single one of my co-workers.”
“I feel so happy to know that my coworkers feel support from doing my part at work and that they could see me as a hero.”
Shift Leader — Casa Padre
Team members at Casa Padre never hesitate to share that Jessica’s uplifting acts of kindness keep them steady. From thanking everyone on her shift to sharing reminders about wearing masks, Jessica has remained focused on what’s important throughout this whole experience. “Remember that every precaution we apply on our daily routine makes a difference here,” she said. Jessica specifically shared that the friendships and connections she’s made at Casa Padre as one of the major motivators for staying positive during these times.
Visit our Facebook page to congratulate a #SWKHero!