It’s been a while since we posted an employee spotlight and this time around we decided to select our next subject by picking a name out of a hat – Rose Felix was the lucky winner. Relatively new to Esperanza, we reached out to ask Rose if she was interested and, to be honest, she wasn’t sure. But, with a little coaxing we got her to sit down and talk. Hands down, Rose was the most prepared of any interview subject we have met with and it didn’t take long to melt away the nervousness and uncover the wealth of joy and passion for living that Rose brings to the conversation.
Rose moved to the US from the Dominican Republic when she was 13 and attended a dual language high school in Washington Heights. Next she went to SUNY New Paltz which she describes as the place where she really found herself. It was there that she went from a pre-med to psychology major and also had a chance to learn more about who she was and what she wanted out of life. It was her first time on her own and though she had been in the US for many years, it was also the first time that she was really forced to speak English all the time. She loved all of it. That was also when she discovered her serious passion for traveling. With a goal of at least 2 international trips a year, Rose plans to see as much of the world as possible. And with her undying passion for helping young people to find out who they are and discover their own passions, we feel very lucky to have her on board with us at Esperanza!
The Esperanza blog had a chance to sit down with Rose and ask a few questions, here are Rose’s answers…
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always thought I would work in the medical field, my mother thought it would be a good career for me and I agreed. First I thought I would be a general doctor and then decided OBGYN so I could deliver babies, I love babies! When I got to college I also took psychology courses and I really liked them a lot. At one point I thought I would be a psychology/biology double major but eventually decided biology was not for me so I majored in psychology and minored in disaster studies and black studies.
What brought you to Esperanza?
While I was a graduate student I worked with Melida at an agency that worked with kids who had recently crossed the border from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Melida came to Esperanza before me and let me know about working here. I knew it would be challenging but I loved the idea of giving kids a second chance and not judging them.
Most rewarding thing about working at Esperanza?
Our kids have dealt with so much, just being present for them and letting them know that they have someone is the most rewarding part of this work.
Many of our kids and families have gone thru so many services that by the time they get to us they are guarded. It’s like they are thinking ‘here is another person telling me what to do and asking me the same questions’. Sometimes that can last a long time and sometimes building the rapport to have a therapeutic relationship can be a challenge in the amount of time that we have with our kids. It’s about letting kids and families know that this time it can be different, that they should give this a try.
What book or movie do you think everyone should know?
There is a movie called Babel that I love. It’s about four groups of people from different cultures. It shows a lot about humanity and how we are all connected. Everyone should watch it!
What music are you listening to these days?
I like to stay up on the new stuff but my true love are the old tunes – I listen to hip hop, R&B, Afrobeat and Latin of course. But, if I had to pick, I would say reggae and soul music are my favorites. I love Marvin Gaye, no one writes lyrics like that these days and also Lauren Hill, the Roots and Bob Marley too of course.
What is your idea of happiness?
Happiness is knowing who you are and having a purpose in life. Happiness is also feeling accomplished in life and satisfied with yourself. Happiness is being surrounded by people who are contributing to your growth as a person, and being surrounded by family and friends.
If you could have any job other than this one, what would it be?
I would love to work in the fashion industry. I would also love to be an interior designer – decorating homes, painting, buying furniture – I’m always going to friend’s places and telling them to rearrange their furniture. Also, I would love to be a swimsuit designer. I have so many ideas!
Finish this sentence: In my life I want to…
Travel the world. I love meeting people from different cultures and I would love to be able to travel forever, get lost in different places and customs and foods. It’s the best.