In 1980, Jose Chagoya arrived from Mexico and resided in East L.A. Two blocks from his home was a convent, Our Lady of Rosary Talpa. There, he met Sr. Minerva Rodriguez. Through their interactions, a bond was formed. She recommended he apply at Maryvale, so he did. And, as they say, the rest is history.
“Hermano” has been here for 25 years. In this timeframe, he has worked in only two departments. Starting as kitchen staff, then moving to facilities last year. He enjoys the camaraderie with his fellow associates and the responsibility of helping others.
“I’m so happy when the residents recognize what we do and say thanks,” he says. “When that happens, I make sure to tell them I'm happy to be at Maryvale. I feel it's important the kids know we love them.”
He has witnessed the evolution of our organization and feels change is positive. Stating it's good to keep up with technology and our residents to be successful. However, he is proud of one thing that remains the same - we continue to empower children and families so they have a chance at brighter futures.
Memories and a final thought
Working anywhere for two and a half decades will create many proud moments. For Jose, one occurred at a recent staff training when trainers posed this question: what do you like most about your role?
Since he considers himself a non-fluent English speaker, he can be hesitant to speak up. This time he raised his hand and expressed himself.
“Everyday, I'm happy to see you all. To greet you and say blessings. I want to keep working with everyone, because I am here to help these children.”
For him, this was a great accomplishment because it was something he has always wanted to say. He believes when we show respect to each other, we can all achieve our goals.
As you can tell, Jose is one for friends and healthy relationships. So it’s no surprise his favorite past time is celebrating holidays with friends and family. When asked what he would like his coworkers, volunteers and donors to know about him?
“I am grateful for your generosity. We're able to do what we do for our children and families and that’s because of you. For that, I am thankful to all of you.”