Meet The Center’s Arlene Rodriguez

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I worked at the Los Angeles LGBT Center for eight years and then I moved away from Los Angeles. I knew if I ever returned to L.A., which I did five years later, I wanted to also return to the Center.

My heart has always belonged at the Center because not only is it my community, but also I have been able to see it grow into the amazing organization that it is today.

The pandemic has shown me that, at the Center, we are survivors and will push through any challenge we face. My motto is “Make it Work,” and we have been doing so—together.  

I am here for seniors who see the Center as a lifeline and part of a team that creates a welcoming and safe place for them to be themselves. It feels awesome! 

During the pandemic, my primary duties have been to create virtual activities for our seniors since all in-person activities have been canceled for now. We have managed to stay connected this way, and there have been online moments during the past 12 months which I’ll never forget.

During an activity I created called Positive Rocks, a senior shared with us that the rock he was using was found at the bottom of the Grand Canyon when he was spreading his husband’s ashes. He painted the rock and wrote “Gratitude” on it. It was such an honor to hear him share this with the group.

I also spend time packing groceries for deliveries to our seniors from our Pride Pantry and serve to-go lunches on weekdays prepared by students of the Center’s Culinary Arts program. We hand them out in the afternoon outside our Senior Center. We all have to be flexible during this time and be open to supporting wherever is needed. 

Working here has been a huge part of my professional and personal growth and resulted in long, lasting friendships. I am proud to say that I work at the Center. 

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Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Year Started Working at Center: 2006-2014, returned 2019

Staff Position: Activities Coordinator, Senior Services

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