Next time you are in the YWCA office, say hello (or hola – she’s bilingual) to Carmen Gonzalez at the front desk.
In her own words, here’s a little more about the newest face in the YWCA office:
When you grow up in a Mexican household, you learn pretty fast about how things work in the world. I knew how vital politics, social work, and mental health can be.
Mental health is something that my family, any family honestly, still has a hard time discussing. What better way to fix that if not by becoming a clinical psychologist?
Reaching for my goals
I graduated from Walla Walla Community College knowing my ultimate career goal, but before pursuing further education, I needed exposure to a setting where a psychologist’s skills could be put to work. I needed to get an idea of what my potential future career could hold and if I was ready.
After searching for anything that would give me that, I was reminded that we have a women’s shelter that helps out in all kinds of ways. So when I saw that the YWCA had an opening, I jumped at it.
What I do when I’m not at the YWCA front desk
Besides my career goal, something you should know about me is that I’m a big bookworm. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, I will always find a way to read a book.
At a party? Book already in hand. At the grocery store? Kindle app at the ready. Going through a breakup? My books may have tear stains, but I’m still reading.
At one point in my life, I was reading a book a week. Those were the good days. I read anything from modern romance to fantasy, sometimes a mix of both. I do have one simple rule with books; If I can’t make it through the first 100 pages, the book was not meant to be.
Another big part of my life is my love for Spider-Man.
A hero for everyone
My dad showed me the Tobey Maguire version when I was 5 years old. My world got so much bigger after that. I would consume anything that was Spider-Man-related.
Imagine my reaction when another movie came out with The Amazing Spider-Man played by Andrew Garfield. My world grew again. It was so mesmerizing that it topped the original movies for me.
When Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland, was finally introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I was a crying mess. My two favorite worlds combined at last.
I have watched every movie in theaters twice since then. Imagine my joy when Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse came out centered around Miles Morales, an afro Latinx kid. As someone who grew up watching only white heroes, it made me shed a couple of tears. Every kid deserves a superhero that looks like them. Even now, at 22 years old, you can find me raving about that movie.
I was both thrilled and nervous when I got hired at the YWCA. It’s been a bit of a learning curve but there’s always someone available to help me out.
The most satisfying part of this opportunity is to be part of changing someone’s life for the better.