Gratitude Sweepstakes Submissions



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Department: Why are you
thankful for this person?
Abel Tovar Youth Services He
is by far the best supervisor I have ever had in the history of working. He
is kind honest and caring and I always feel heard supported and encouraged in
everything I do. He is helping me see areas where I need growth and I am
internally grateful for the opportunity to work in an environment where I
feel like I can flourish and achieve anything! Thank you Abel for all you do!
for me and for our department
Lauren Meadows
Abel Tovar Youth Services Being
a great supervisor!
Bruce  Foster
Alvy Rangel Health Services In
just my first few months at the Center, Alvy has been a complete role model
for me in professionalism, poise, and compassion. She brings such a bright
and energetic presence to the office that I am insanely grateful for!
Kyle  Ryan
Youth Services They
are always the first to jump up to help someone who needs it, whether its an
emotional, physical, or mental need. They truly care so deeply about the job,
and it isn’t always recognized as much as it should be.
Kami Brooks
Facilities Angela
is an amazing and understanding person.
She is even better as a leader and has been overlooked most of the
time.  It shows everyday how much she
cares about the center and the work we do.
She has an AMAZING story!  she
escaped from her country after seeing an incredible amount of death an horror
and IMO should be featured on the Vanguard 
Becky McLean
Ari Anderson Youth Services Being
helpful and always eager to learn.
Neysa Chavez
Health Services Arlene
always has a smile for everyone, her can do attitude is a breath of fresh
Chris Clarkin
Ashley Rojo Legal Services Ashley
has been with the center for a few year now and has shown immense care
towards her clients! She goes above and beyond!
Mateo Barrios
Ashley Rojo Legal Services I’m
thankful to have Ash as a close colleague and friend because she has been so
supportive through the challenging cases we work on. I’m especially grateful
to have Ash as a learning partner in the intensive training we’ve been
working through the last 8 weeks. You cannot do trauma work without support
and I am so lucky to have Ash as part of my support system. Ash, you’re a
star and I’m so thankful for you!
Metzli Mejia
Aurelia Taleb AIDS/LifeCycle Aurelia
always says yes to help with the extras. They bring enthusiasm to whatever
they do. They have helped me immensely as we are back to in person events. We
even started a Women, ENBY, Trans bike ride and Aurelia took the lead.
Forever grateful!
Christie Gilmore
AIDS/LifeCycle Aurelia
tirelessly fights for change at AIDS/LifeCycle, and follows through with it
too. They recently started a new affinity training ride group for our Women,
Trans and Enby community members called Everybody Rides. Aurelia is a great
teammate, and embodies what it means to be an agent for change. Thank you for
everything you do, Aurelia, behind the scenes and out in front of the
Celia Mueller
Bella Gavilan Human Resources  I
am grateful for Bella literally every day at the Center! We are so lucky to
have her warm, knowledgeable, sparkly presence in the Anita May Rosenstein
Campus entrance. Whether she’s (lovingly) reminding us to take our lunch
breaks, hand delivering packages and mail with a twirl and a joke or
patiently re-explaining how to fix the printer  – she’s the colleague we all need and
deserve. Thank you, Bella, for all that you do and all the energy you bring
to work! 
Jae O’Dougherty
Youth Services Bernadette
is always willing to go above and beyond for the youth we serve. She is
thoughtful and intentional about the work she does, and always creates a warm
and welcoming environment for the folks we serve.
Mandy Litwin
Health Services Brandon
is always down to help the patient. He is thorough and a great employee. 
Laura Garcia-McLean
Cain Andrade Cultural Arts Cain
has been more than happy to jump in and assist with whatever tasks we were
faced with, regardless of how far out of his job description they were. For
example, we received a donation of platforms, and he happily jumped in and
helped us lug them around. His constant cheerfulness and willingness to help
others makes him an exceptional candidate for gratitude! 
Matt Richter
CeCe Lam Health Services CeCe
is always extremely helpful, cheerful, and festive! She truly goes above and
beyond for her colleagues and clients. 
sam christie
Celia Mueller AIDS/LifeCycle Celia
or “Baby Seal” as we affectionately call her is a great teammate.
She is consistently looking for ways to support her coworkers, think of
creative solutions to problems and look at the long term sustainability of
the work we do at AIDS/LifeCycle. 
Cailin corbett
Health Services  They
do a lot of behind the senses work to ensure their team has all the things
they need to service the community.  
Arlene Stevenson
Health Services Chris
has to wear several hats. He has supported the ARS team throughout my time at
the Center. I rely on him greatly to coordinate with clients in ways that my
position does not allow. Chris maintains a team-oriented attitude that has
helped everything flow as smoothly as possible during this ongoing pandemic.
Vasyl Ghanimian
Health Services Thankful
to work alongside you – helping to develop, shape and push the Center South
team forward. You are a great teammate and I’m glad we have this great
opportunity to do so much good and in service for our Black and Brown folx in
the community of South LA!
David Flores
Health Services I
am glad to work with someone that cares about our most need it community
Eddie Sanyer
Health Services I
am thankful for Christopher because he wants to genuinely help the
underserved community of South LA. He is a fearless leader yet is very
approachable. I’ve only worked with him for a short amount of time but he
helps me feel at ease to know that I have his full support. 
Sarah Gabagat
Youth Services I’m
grateful for all the attention, care and balance that CJ brings to his work
in Youth Development. Whether he’s leading trips to the community garden,
planning incredible holiday celebrations, or casually connecting with youth
throughout the space, his purpose is clear and his presence is inviting and
consistent in such a rare, necessary way! CJ has been a key staff member in
Youth Services for years, and we are so fortunate to have his knowledge,
patience and secretly goofy self in our midst!   
Jae O’Dougherty
Health Services Claudia
is a great mentor and I appreciate her drive. 
Deanna Newman
Danny Gonzalez Volunteer Resources Thank
you Danny for the extra help during November’s donor events. 
Gia Rili
David Flores Health Services I
am thankful to work with a Manager that cares about not only our community
but also to his staff 
Eddie Sanyer
Deanna Newman Health Services Deanna
is an excellent manager to our team! She is always direct and understanding.
A great leader. 
Kat Lopez
Health Services  They
are front an center at all event representing the center in its best light
and always ensure weho has all their condom and lube needs.
Arlene Stevenson
Doni Tadesse Youth Services Over
the past year, Doni has not only been an outstanding coworker and teammate
but has also become a very dear friend. I am grateful for his kindness and
ability to put a smile on my face, for his wit and perfectly-timed pop
culture references too!
Eden Sarkisian
Dora Solis
Human Resources Dora
is always ready and eager to be of assistance in any way that she can. She
puts people at ease, makes them feel heard, and goes above and beyond to be
of service to the staff here. 
Mandy Litwin
Senior Services  Dylan
is a Senior Care Specialist who goes above and beyond for our clients. I am
thankful that our department and our clients have Dylan as a Senior Care
Specialist because he truly cares for our seniors. Dylan’s assistance has
helped to house clients experiencing homelessness and trauma, as well as
assisting clients with obtaining all they need in order to be housed. Dylan
Richardson is an invaluable member of our Senior Services team. 
Bryan  Heitz
Eden Anai Luna Legal Services Luna
is a wonderful advocate and is always available to help clients in need. Luna
is an amazing colleague. 
Lynda Cruz
Youth Services Came
into the team and hit the ground running. Has assisted the youth on her
caseload and others in a heartbeat. 
Elizabeth Jimenez
Health Services For
providing the best mentorship over my first year with the Center. Enrique
shows incredible skill in being a strong advocate for our participants and
clients while also supporting everyone in the Research Department.
Jacq Lewis
Erick Fletes Health Services Erick
has been a critical aid that supports my work in MAT services. His
willingness to engage clients directly and coordinate care is necessary for
the program to function.
Vasyl Ghanimian
Erin English Development Erin
has been a wonderful teacher and leader in my last three months since
starting at the Center. Erin has really taken the time and patience to train
me and guide me towards becoming a successful contributor in the Major Gifts
Operation. She is an authentic professional, great communicator, and is
impressive in balancing her many responsibilities with sharing a funny
moment, even though we have been virtually interacting the majority of the
time since I started at the Center. Her passion for the Center’s mission
always shines through, even in the less exciting parts of our work. Thank
you, Erin! 
Talia Rothman
Gabriel Flores Health Services I
am so very thankful for Gabriel because he is always so willing to help
whether it comes to staff or patients. He is honestly one of the best people
I know. He is kind and patient even when it’s “one of those days”.
Gabriel’s positive energy radiates and he deserves all good things.
Sarah Gabagat
Health Services  They
are front an center at all event representing the center in its best light
and always ensure weho has all their condom and lube needs.
Arlene Stevenson
Youth Services Jae
has been someone I’ve looked up to for some time now. They are so incredibly
kind, intelligent, and always looking to help others – even when they’re busy
with their own tasks! Their commitment to this work inspires me. I try to be
“a little bit more like Jae” every day!
Mickey Couto
Jason Toma Finance Mutual
appreciation of Nintendo games 🙂
Josh Bittner
Health Services Great
resource and sounding board; helped me learn more about the Center and FQHC
rules (which were new to me).
Marcos Beltran
Jennie Solis & Juan Hernandez Youth Services  Jennie
and Juan have led the COVID-19 vaccination and COVID-19 testing charge in
Youth Center residential programs throughout these trying times. Jennie and
Juan, along with all the incredible staff in the Youth Center, have been
working with admin staff to speak with youth one on one about vaccine
concerns, support vaccine education efforts, implement weekly testing and
monthly on-site vaccine clinics. Their coordinated work is a big reason that
so many youth members at the Center have made confident decisions to support
their health and the health of our communities – on top of all their usual
responsibilities! We appreciate their heart, humor and care throughout the
challenges of the pandemic! 
Jae O’Dougherty
Joe Heally Senior Services Joe
spent most of last weekend, calling seniors to complete RSVP’s for them by
our deadline for a thanksgiving Meal.
In addition to his dedication to our older adults he has been working
extremely hard to make sure all the logistics are in place to make sure over
850 meals are delivered and the data collection and tracking is done to
report this back to our funders.  This
is in addition to his regular workload.  
Kiera Pollock
Joei Gyondla AIDS/LifeCycle Joei
has been such a source of light for everyone at ALC. Their energy and passion
for our work and the ALC community is something they bring to everything they
do. Joei reminds me why we do what we do, especially on days when it feels
like never ending voicemail boxes and emails. I am so thankful for them, and
for their willingness to share all parts of their humanity with me and our
team. Thank you, Joei! 
Celia Mueller
Kaiyti Duffy Health Services Dr.
Duffy inspires me daily and has taught me so much. I am very thankful for
Marissa Marqusee
Kami Brooks Youth Services Kami
is the newest addition to the team but they are already making a splash!
Youth simply adore them. Their programming content is clever, intentional,
and always fun.
Mickey Couto
Kat Lopez Health Services Kat
is dedicated and dependable. I know I can count on her to keep her word.
Deanna Newman
Franco, Esq
Legal Services Katherine
really listens and considers our ideas. Katherine is a wonderful supervisor
and leader. 
Lynda Cruz
Keith Leach Health Services Keith
is a breath of fresh air – always spreading positivity and I appreciate that!
Deanna Newman
Kristi Cecil Senior Services Kristi
is new to our department, she immediately become available to provide support
in anyway needed. She is a welcoming face to our new staff and models how
best to provide our clients with quality care.
Rhee  Pates
Health Services I
have found Kyra to be reliable and a pleasure to work with. Kyra has been
consistently helpful and positivistic while handling so many time-sensitive
tasks. I feel confident that something directed to Kyra will be handled with
utmost professionalism.
Vasyl Ghanimian
Health Services I’m
so thankful for Kyra because she’s is always patient and ready to lend a hand
even if she has her own plate full. She’s a true team player and deserves all
the croissants she can handle!
Adrienne Ogle
Health Services Thankyou
for being such an amazing team player and supervisor. For working almost
every Saturday, and being so supportive to our staff and patients. For having
amazing customer service and going above and beyond at the front window to
help our clients. For having my back when I am on vacation to make sure
nothing falls behind. Your an amazing soul. 
Linda Taylor Finance The
best teammate I could ask for!
Josh Bittner
Lisa Kimsey Health Services I’m
thankful to Lisa for her compassion. She’s always willing to listen and gives
great advice!
Deanna Newman
Loan Le Finance The
best boss I’ve ever worked for
Josh Bittner
Lucina Morelos
Legal Services Lucy
gets the job done and is very considerate of others. 
Lynda Cruz
Mandy Litwin Youth Services I
love and appreciate the warmth and positive energy Mandy carries with every
day. I’ve seen the unconditional support she provides both the youth and
staff and she just simply has a heart of gold. I’m super thankful to have the
opportunity to work with her AND thankful for all her hard work and
dedication here at the center.
Dora Solis Malta
Health Services Margarita
is such a valuable person to help us clinicians keep our credentialing in
order. I don’t know what I’d do without her. She also has the patience of a
Emiko Kenderes
Matt Hernandez Facilities Matt
always has a positive attitude and I love running into him.  He is always working on all sorts of
building requests and interacts with clients especially well.  Our department wouldn’t function without
his leadership.
Ariel Bustamante
IT Matthew
is not only gracious, but super friendly and always a joy to get when I have
to call IT! He’s also great and prompt at what he does. 
Emiko Kenderes
Michael Couto Youth Services He
is always helpful and willing to listen and understand any problems I may be
having, and has helped me immensely in feeling heard and safe in my new
Kami Brooks
Health Services because
all his support and good energy helping me in my work
Amanda Tirado Paez
Health Services Thank
you for being continue support in helping pt get coverage or find solutions
to difficult problems. You are expert in your field. 
Virginia Leon
Mona Abron Youth Services She
is one of the greatest supervisors we have. The center would not be the same
without her, she cares so much about the residents and the workers and always
puts her all in. Her favorite phrase is “stay ready so you don’t have to
get ready” and she truly lives by that.
Kami Brooks
Mona Abron Youth Services Mona’s
commitment, expertise, and warm heart are only a few of the many reasons that
youth and staff alike gravitate towards her and look to her leadership. Mona
is someone who I admire and try to emulate every day.
Mickey Couto
Neysa Chavez Youth Services I
am thankful for Neysa because they are an amazing coworker and friend. They
have taught me so much while working with here; they are the Yoda to my Luke
Ari Anderson
Youth Services too
many to list, positivity + optimism, inspiration and sets the tone! 
Max Moller
Cultural Arts Patricia
manages a big team that helps bring about some of our wonderful theatre
productions, she coordinates access to the space available for rental and
Center programming at The Village, and her team seems to have a high
admiration for her, myself included, as she is always patient, kind and ready
to help her team succeed. I can only hope to learn a bit of that impressive,
managerial skill set. I am thankful The Center has her. 
Caín  Andrade
Health Services  They
go above a beyond to ensure their team is ok and ready to service the
Arlene Stevenson
Ricardo DeLeon Finance Super
grateful for Ricardo coming on-board and providing amazing leadership for the
Center and our Department
Josh Bittner
Health Services Robert
is a great leader who knows how to keep morale high – whether by asking about
how your weekend was or by reminding the front office at the end of every day
that he his grateful for the work we put in. 
Adrienne Ogle
Development  Thank you Scott for going above and beyond
with the tear-down of   November’s
donor events. 
Gia  Rili
Human Resources  I
feel seen and heard by Sharon. I’m alway welcome in the space that she is
Bella Gavilan
Simon J Sailer Youth Services Dedication
to the youth we serve, his team spirit 
Elizabeth  Jimenez 
Sol Ace
Health Services They
are a team player and are always willing to help assist Spanish-speaking
clients. Thanks for being awesome Sol Ace 🙂
Monique Gutierrez
Stella Perish She
is so knowledgeable and creates Amazing groups for the youth here. She is
helpful patient kind and loving and is quick to provide support wherever
needed. Thank you Stella You da Best!!
Lauren Meadows
Susan Holt Health Services Susan
has literally helped me keep my job with her relentless efforts on grants
upon grants. She’s also helped keep me sane to maintain said job with her
wisdom and guidance throughout my internship and into my career as a
therapist. Truly, forever grateful for Dr. Susan Holt. 
Emiko Kenderes
Susan Holt Health Services She
has kept the department moving in great direction. Not only does she strongly
care about the work we all do in the department but she truly cares about our
wellbeing and that is comforting.
Steven  Valladarez
Susy Arreola Health Services For
her incredible phlebotomy skills and hard work in transforming our 2nd Floor
Research Laboratory as well as supporting every research study our department
conducts. Susy is the glue that holds our department together. 
Jacq Lewis
Teshale Wesene Youth Services I
am always grateful for the times that both Teshale and I are in the office.
He is very kind and we often find ourselves falling into such easeful
conversation. Though we are both on the admin team, our work does not overlap
much if at all. However, I am very glad that Teshale is on my team because he
always adds a bright spot to my day. 🙂
Khrysta Robinson
AIDS/LifeCycle I
am very grateful for my entire team, for our strength to push through all the
challenges even though we could not have an in-person event over the past 2
years. This year we are hitting the ground hard and continuing to fight to
provide free HIV/AIDS services & programs for all! This is How We
Aurelia Taleb-Ahmed
Travis Crown Youth Services Travis
is a leader on this team! The youth love him and he is a kind, talented, and
thoughtful coworker. I consider myself lucky to work with him!
Mickey Couto
Tui Lyon Development Tui
and I work closely together and share resources and knowledge often. She
always brings a can do attitude and chill presence. Recently she has
supported ALC broadcasting with kindness, knowledge, and sunshine. So
grateful for her!
Christie Gilmore
Health Services I’m
thankful for Will because he’s constantly helping out behind the scenes even
when we don’t know it! He may be quiet but he’s always present and happy to
lend his expertise. I don’t know what we’d do without him!
Adrienne Ogle
Yvette Topete Youth Services HUGE
APPRECIATION to Yvette for their awesome support during our first virtual
Youth Leadership Team meeting! Although we did not have a big turnout, I am
truly grateful to have  had the
opportunity to share virtual space with you and our youth both! Super glad to
have you on the team 🙂 
Juan Pirir