The MENTOR Network

Stories of our Employees

IN OUR WORDS: California MENTOR Recruiter Inspires a DSP

By Idalina Aguilar
Human Resource Coordinator, California MENTOR

Serena Rojas, California MENTOR

In the spring of 2013, a woman by the name of Alma Sandoval applied for a position as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) at California MENTOR’s San Bernardino program. Alma spoke at length with Serena Rojas (pictured at right), our human resources coordinator in the Rancho Cucamonga office, about her experience and desire to become a DSP. After listening carefully, Serena explained that while Alma had the compassion, empathy and enthusiasm for the job, she would unfortunately not meet the qualifications for the role because she did not have a high school diploma. But Serena didn’t stop there.

She saw the potential for a wonderful employee and encouraged Alma to return to school to obtain her GED, a step that would not only increase her qualifications toward becoming a DSP, but would open up a number of doors for her in terms of career development. Serena proceeded to provide Alma with the resources, encouragement and support to help her achieve this goal.

Alma took Serena’s words to heart. Using the resources and suggestions presented by Serena, Alma knew what she had to do and set out to obtain her GED. She not only obtained her high school diploma in less than 12 months, but did so well in the program that she was given a scholarship to further her education! Finally able to meet the qualifications of a DSP, Alma reached out once again to the recruitment team to share the good news. We were thrilled! I am happy to announce that Alma Sandoval was recently hired in the field as a Direct Support Professional at California MENTOR Family Home Agency in San Diego and is doing wonderfully. She is ecstatic to be working for The MENTOR Network, and we are proud to have found an employee that embodies so many of the qualities that California MENTOR is proud of: dedication, compassion and the will to serve others.

Encouraging Alma to obtain her high school diploma and helping her obtain employment afterward is just one example of many that shows how Serena goes above and beyond in her recruiting efforts on a daily basis. She is incredibly dedicated to supporting our DSPs, who in turn provide excellent service to the individuals California MENTOR serves. She has a big heart and truly takes into consideration the needs of the individuals we serve, staff, mission, and company as a whole when recruiting new employees.

“Our employees are ultimately the ones who are going to affect the services we provide, so it’s important that they have the compassion and empathy we need to effectively support the individuals we serve,” Serena said. “Alma’s goal was to be a part of the foundation of the company, and she fulfilled it. I am thrilled that she followed through and became a part of our team!”