The Caring Force Blog January 2022 Workforce Hero: Evelyn Rodriguez

| Caroline O'Neill

The Caring Force is pleased to announce that our January TCF Hero Spotlight honoree is Evelyn Rodriguez, I&R Specialist at Center for Living & Working, Inc.

1. Tell us about your background.  How did you decide to pursue a career in human services?

I’m the daughter of a World War 2 Veteran and the oldest of six children.  Being a Latina woman and coming from very strict parents, it was expected of me to go to college to become a lawyer or doctor, and to never forget those less fortunate than me. So, I went to college and received my degree in Criminal Justice. I got married to the most amazing man on earth.  I always felt that my purpose in life was to help people, like my parents did. So, I went to work at the Dept. of Transitional Assistance as a Bilingual Social Worker. Which is where my career and journey in human services began.

2. What is your favorite professional memory?

My favorite professional memory and experience, was when I was working at the Dept. of Transitional Assistance.  I had a client that was only 22 years old with three small children and in a very dangerous domestic violence situation.  I advised/convinced her to go into a shelter out of Mass, which she did.  Thirty years later, I received a phone call at Center for Living and Working  from a Social Worker, who did not realize that I was the Social Worker who had helped her get out of a bad situation thirty years ago, until she heard my voice. She started crying and said, “Evelyn I’m a social worker today because of you, and all my kids are also working in human service as well.  I can never forget what you did for us. I’m the person that I am today because of you.”

3. The pandemic has been ongoing for more than a year.  How have you coped with its challenges?

During this pandemic, I realized that little gestures of kindness are carried with us along our life path, so during this pandemic I just continue doing what I like and do best. And that is, to continue my journey and purpose in life to help people.

4. This question is from our December 2021 TCF Hero Spotlight, Patricia Brown:  What advice would you give to your younger self?

Always accept the challenges that life throws at you and aim at the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.  You will feel the exhilaration of victory.

5. Do you have a question for the next person we spotlight?

What impact did your past life make on you, which molded you into the human that you are today?

Thank you so much to Evelyn and all of our wonderful human services workers who bring joy and passion to work every day! We are so thankful for your efforts and for making the Commonwealth a better place.

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