Meet Center Volunteer Celso Cardenas


As a volunteer Information Specialist at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, I pride myself on greeting people who visit the Center, ensuring they feel welcomed in the space, and answering any questions they may have. Volunteering is something I very much look forward to every week.

I am inspired by all the amazing work the Center is doing. An example of that was the day after the 2016 presidential election. I was scheduled to volunteer at the front desk at The Village but was feeling down and out-of-sorts. The Center hosted a rally that same evening to help the community come together.

I stood listening to community leaders speak to the crowd— many who were uncertain about the future. Speakers encouraged attendees not to be discouraged and to instead use this as a catalyst to fight.

Instead of feeling disheartened, I felt reinvigorated. I needed that moment. It felt amazing to be surrounding by my community; I didn’t feel alone. While I was there to serve the community and fulfill my weekly commitment, I felt like I got more from the Center that night than what I gave.

Hometown: Chicago

Year Started at the Center: 2015

Volunteer Position: Information Specialist and Special Events


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