Vinfen CT Assistant Program Director Noemi Gonzalez has made quite the impact since starting at Vinfen in December of 2000. She has significantly helped Vinfen implement services within Connecticut and serves as a constant source of inspiration for her Vinfen team.
Noemi moved to the United States at the age of 18 from Puerto Rico with her father who was seeking medical treatment. She did not know much English, but always knew she was meant to help people and make a difference in the world. Noemi fondly remembers her late father encouraging her to keep going when life became tough. “With time and my dad by my side not giving up on me, I learned how to accept the changes, overcome challenges, and adapt to all new things,” Noemi explained. Today she is incredibly grateful that she embraced all the obstacles she faced, thanks to her dad’s constant source of inspiration and perseverance.
Before Vinfen, Noemi worked at another human services agency. She had heard about Vinfen and the need for bilingual staff to assist people in the Latino community. After Noemi interviewed, she knew Vinfen was exactly where she wanted to take her talents. She felt such pure energy and passion from the staff and was incredibly inspired. Noemi later accepted the job offer and became a Vinfen Residential Manager. “I definitely believe in the mission statement. Vinfen was transforming the lives of people we serve and was transforming my life,” she expressed. Noemi felt humbled that Vinfen trusted her and valued her opinion and ideas. As she formed lasting relationships with service providers, families, and the people Vinfen serves, Noemi felt a sense of wholeness and confidence that this was her company, her Vinfen.
Noemi naturally related with family members and guardians, and played a huge role in training new staff. She brought a sense of security to the Vinfen Connecticut community as she conveyed the roles and responsibilities of being a care giver and what Vinfen meant to her. “I made sure that everyone left the room with the desire to make a difference. I take my job seriously. I don’t see myself doing anything else. This is my passion,” Noemi noted. She sees everyday as an accomplishment, especially seeing people Vinfen serves smiling and sharing how well they are doing with her.
Connections among people are critical to Noemi. One of her favorite aspects of her job is teaching others about Vinfen. Noemi is an expert in team building and a source of exciting ideas. “She is a peacemaker. She wants everyone to be supportive of one another. She wants everyone to be happy and come together,” Vinfen CT Program Director Alzira Pitts shared. Alzira is Noemi’s supervisor and cannot say enough about Noemi’s talents, passion, and her ability to teach others in such a positive way. She described Noemi as someone who consistently brings laughter, motivating ideas, and leadership to the table, which energizes and inspires her colleagues. Noemi has become a staple at Vinfen.
Because Noemi has been with Vinfen for quite some time now, she has established a family-like unit of colleagues who collaborate and have such a core wealth of knowledge about the organization. Noemi has felt the sincere support from her co-workers, especially during some of her hardest moments in life. “The words of support from people are full of love and from the heart,” Noemi disclosed. Noemi is certainly loved everywhere she goes. Her colleagues are inspired by her dedication and the people Vinfen serves are ecstatic every time they get to see her. “The people we serve fill my heart with joy,” Noemi voiced. She looks forward to all her interactions with the people Vinfen serves and that excitement is reciprocated.
Noemi has gained a deep sense of purpose from her job and wants to pass this onto others. She encourages her grandchildren to do their very best, and that they will make a difference because they are incredibly important in this world. She believes in the power of conversation, smiling, and being a bright positive light in life. “If anyone has one moment of their life where they feel that they have the heart and the passion to make a difference in someone else’s life, then pursue that! Don’t let that go to waste,” Noemi concluded.