Employee Spotlight – Amanda Alvarado

Photo credit: Javier Delrio

If you have been to Esperanza’s offices recently, then you probably have met Amanda.  Esperanza’s Office Administrator, Amanda is the first person to greet staff and visitors when they arrive.  And we are all quite grateful for this because Amanda has an easy going and welcoming spirit that you can’t help but feel the moment you step into the office. 

Born and raised in the Bronx, Amanda is very close to her family which includes two brothers and a nine year old little sister who is her “everything”.  She loves to help people look good, feel good and find jobs which makes her the perfect coordinator for the Esperanza Interns.  And, she loves the winter which is why you may notice that our office is always pretty chilly – yes, we have her to thank for the very refreshing temperatures!

The Esperanza blog had a chance to sit down with Amanda and ask a few questions, here are her answers:

What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was little, I wanted to follow in my uncle’s footsteps and become an NYPD Officer. As I got older, I changed my mind and decided I wanted to be a hairstylist.  I love how a visit to the salon at the end of a busy week makes you feel good about yourself.  I actually don’t go to salons myself very often because I do my own hair, nails, everything but when my brothers or cousins need a quick cut or shape up, I do that for them.

What brought you to Esperanza?

Before Esperanza, I was working at a doctor’s office as a well patient counselor and doing intake and front desk work. Jonathan Sepulveda who was working here as a therapist at the time is engaged to my cousin and when the position opened up he asked if I would be interested. I came in for an interview which must have gone well, I could tell that Jenny liked me, and now it will be four years as of August 2020!

Most rewarding thing about working at Esperanza?

I love meeting new people and in particular getting to work with the kids.  As the manager of the internship program, I get to work closely one on one with Esperanza graduates and other young interns.  They really help me with my work and I love getting to know them and learning from them. 

Most challenging?
The most challenging thing is also among the most rewarding and that is organizing and running Esperanza’s graduation.  It’s so important that everything is perfect because we want a really special celebration and want everyone to enjoy themselves but that means we need to be sure that all the details – food, decorations, photographer, sound system… – are perfect!  Every year it’s always a lot of work but also the most rewarding time of the year because we get to see all the graduates and their families celebrating their achievements.

What book or movie do you think everyone should know?
I am a hopeless romantic so anything by Nicholas Sparks.  If you love “The Notebook” then you will also love part two, “The Wedding.”  Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps and makes me teary eyed!

What music are you listening to these days?
I listen to a little of everything but I love old school so Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, old school hip hop and R&B.  And, right now, my favorite is Sam Smith.  I went to his concert at Madison Square Garden and I could not stop crying – I really love him.

What is your idea of happiness?
I am a huge homebody.  I like to be at home either with my dogs Gambit and Loki or with friends having a get together, playing board games, watching movies.  I also love winter, it’s why I keep the front office so cold!

If you could have any job other than this one, what would it be?
Hair stylist/barber, I would love to go back to school and learn some skills, I am always looking at programs and trying to find one that fits in with my full time work schedule.  I also would love to be a head hunter and help people find jobs.  I love helping friends fix their resumes, search for open positions, I really love helping people figure out their work life.

Finish this sentence:  In my life I want to…

Travel more and to do so I need to work on my fear and anxiety about traveling.  I am claustrophobic so getting on a plane is difficult for me but I really want to work on it so that I can see more, like right now I’d love to go to Turks and Caicos, the photos look amazing.

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