Focused on pursuing ministry work, Camille Araullo’s last day as a staff member at the Los Angeles LGBT Center was January 3.
During an emotional sendoff attended by employees of nearly every Center department, Araullo reflected on the 22 years she spent managing and working with selfless and inspiring volunteers.
Excerpts from her heartfelt remarks:
It has been an incredibly rewarding journey seeing the organization grow from the beacon of hope that it was then into an even brighter one today.
I recall the time when there were less than 150 employees at the Center and a few hundred volunteers. Now, we are over 700 employees and over 900 active monthly volunteers who allow us to be able to provide life-changing and life-saving services to address the needs of the community.
I am grateful for the Center for so many things — lived experiences that will forever remain with me. I truly believe I was led here to learn about my tribe, to accept my community and to love my community. In doing so, I learned to accept and love myself.
It was at the Center that I learned to be strong. At protest after protest, I learned what it meant to be relentless. I became a staunch activist fighting for our basic human rights as an LGBT people.
It was at the Center that I learned to be compassionate. Hearing story upon story of the heart-breaking struggles of my LGBTQ siblings, I learned to simply just listen and be there for them and to let them know that they were not alone in their experience. From the stories of those who prevailed and overcame their struggles, I learned to be inspired and encouraged. I had hope!
To all my colleagues and wonderful, wonderful volunteers, you have enriched my life beyond measure. I am truly blessed and grateful.
I will continue to serve the community but in a different capacity and I am certain that I will work with the Center family again. Thank you for a most special 22 years of memories.
Thank you, Camille, for your dedication!