Maricela Torres Named City of West Palm Beach Person of the Year during Hispanic Heritage Month
We are delighted to share that our employee, Maricela Torres, has been named the City of West Palm Beach, Florida’s Person of the Year for 2023!
She was honored with the award during a meeting of the City Commission on September 18.
Each Commissioner had the opportunity to nominate an individual who has made an impact in his or her district. Maricela was nominated by Commissioner Cathleen Ward and selected unanimously by the Commission.
Maricela, who works at our corporate headquarters in West Palm Beach, was recognized for her work co-founding and serving as Executive Director of the Esperanza Community Center (ECC).
“I am very grateful to be recognized for the work that we have been doing, even though that’s not why I started Esperanza,” said Maricela. “It feels surreal to be at this point four years after we started. I’ve always held steadfast that this is the right thing to do and that this community in the North End in West Palm deserves to have a safe place where families and residents can get help and information.”
The Center serves to empower Northwood day laborers and families, and provides programs and services for all in the Northwood area who desire assistance. Inspired by the amazing work being undertaken by one of our employees and the amount of volunteer hours she dedicates to the Center, our company has been proud to provide philanthropic support to aid its programs.
The ECC has been serving the community for more than four years and offers a variety of programs, resources and learning opportunities for families. These resources include nutrition and health care, affordable housing, legal services, workforce training, English as a second language education, and support services for day laborers seeking to connect with employers who want to hire.
“It has taken a lot of work, but we are able to reach every family where they are,” said Maricela. “We’re able to share our story with each family, listen to their needs and come up with programming that the community wants and needs.”
The ECC also offers several resources and programs for children, including a student tutoring program, chess club and summer school program.
“With everything we do, we consider what kind of value we are adding to the community,” said Maricela. “When we’re able to remove barriers, we create opportunities. It is such a privilege to serve this community and be a part of it.”
For more information about the ECC or how to support, visit esperanzacommunitycenter.org.