Get to know the newest member of PAWS NY: Victoria! Victoria joins the staff as our new Program Manager, who will be connecting with clients all over NYC and helping them get the support they need. As our Bilingual Program Manager, she will also be supporting all of our Spanish-speaking clients and helping to connect with more Spanish speakers who may need our services.
Where were you working and what were you doing before joining PAWS NY?
Before joining PAWS NY, I held a temporary position as a Community Outreach Worker at a non-profit organization in the South Bronx that offers social services to the Mexican and other Latino communities in New York City. I was offered this position as part of a contract with NYC’s Department of Health after working at two vaccination sites in the Bronx in early 2021. I am proud to say that I was working in the frontlines of NYC’s vaccination program, spreading awareness and increasing accessibility in one of the most underserved neighborhoods in NYC.
What about this position and organization attracted you?
After having served my community for almost a year, I knew I wanted to continue a professional career in human services. When I came across PAWS NY and the Bilingual Program Manager position, I honestly thought, “Wow! This is THE perfect role for me!” I am a firm believer of the human-animal bond because I live it every day with my dog, and I am a strong advocate for accessibility, so seeing an organization with a mission and vision that combines my professional and personal passions, is what truly excited me about joining PAWS NY!
Tell us about your pets, past & present.
I had a few pets throughout my childhood. My very first pet was a cat and then I had fish, hamsters, birds, and dogs. I grew up loving and respecting animals, but it wasn’t until adulthood, with my current dog, Canelo, that I truly learned about the responsibility of caring for a pet. Canelo is an 80-lb Standard Goldendoodle and is a total sweetheart! He is making me a better person every single day. In learning to care for him, I’ve learned to better take care of myself, and the life lessons he is teaching me are invaluable. I love his company and enjoy our long walks and runs together!
Did you grow up in NYC? If not, when did you move here?
Yes, I was born and raised in East Harlem!
What is your favorite thing (or things) about living here?
I love the diversity of the city! I love learning about different cultures and people. I also love trying new foods and finding new things to do and see, and there’s always something new to do and try in the city!
What are your hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?
I love keeping my body active and in motion, so my top two hobbies are running and dancing. I have a deep love and admiration for my Mexican roots and I fell in love with Mexican Folk Dance as a child. I currently take dance classes and perform in community events and share the beauty of Mexican Folk Dance throughout NYC.
Anything else you want to share with the PAWS community?
It is a true honor to be a part of this community and I will always do my best to help in any way possible! I am looking forward to learning from and growing with everyone who is a part of this amazing community!
Welcome to the team, Victoria! We’re so excited to have you and can’t wait to grow our community with your support!