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New York is the city that never sleeps. Around the clock, emergencies need responses. Streets need cleaning. Families need care. Students need well-run schools. Our neighborhoods demand safety. That’s why DC 37 members Never Quit.

I am a Community Associate in the New York City Parks Department. I work at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, New York.

I began my career with NYC Parks in 2012 as a Job Training Participant in the Parks Opportunity Program after I was eligible through the HRA welfare department. Later that year I was promoted to City Seasonal Aide and later became a full-time City Park Worker on Staten Island. I had a stint as a Crew Chief in Jamaica Bay during the Hurricane Sandy restoration. Earlier this year, I was promoted to Community Associate in Queens Forestry and I absolutely love it.

In this position, my responsibilities are to provide office support and to process service requests regarding city street trees in New York City. For instance, if an issue arises with a street tree, citizens contact 311 or 911 and we receive service requests and then assign them to inspectors.

The emergencies are handled quickly. We try to help citizens the way we would like to be helped. We try to understand what they are saying, sympathize with their situation, and try to alleviate the problem. We cannot move as fast on lower priority requests as citizens would like due to staffing and budgetary constraints.

The union has helped me a lot. The union assisted me with tuition reimbursements for my continuing education. In my contact with the union, they have informed me of future opportunities in the Parks Department, which was very beneficial to me. I am grateful for the contributions that the union has made concerning my career aspirations.

I have a strong commitment to the union and to my career. I am also committed to serving the community the best way possible. I have not called in sick since 2012 and for that accomplishment I am prideful. My family and my fiancée’s family definitely deserve credit for my successes because they have pitched in with child care.

Earlier this year I was awarded a master’s in business administration degree with a strategic leadership concentration. I am currently working on a second master’s degree in human Resources. Hopefully the education and experience will equip me with the essential items to be a leader one day.