For anyone who has entered onto the property of La Posada Providencia shelter in the past 13 years, the first person they have seen has usually been Monica Peña-Rusmussen.
In 2001, Monica responded to an ad in the local San Benito paper for a part-time position at La Posada, a shelter that assists immigrants. She was working for an afterschool program at the time and was searching for another part-time job.
Soon after, she received a phone call from Sister Margaret Mertens. Sister Margaret had called to tell her that she was looking to fill the outside maintenance position but was actually hoping to hire a man.
“She said that because most of the clients of the shelter were men, they might not take direction from a woman,” Monica said. “I told her that I led by example and nothing was beneath me, so I would do whatever the job.”
A few months later, Monica was offered full-time positions at both the afterschool program and La Posada.
“I was good at what I did at the afterschool program, but I had always felt that I was meant to help people,” she said, “so I left the decision up to fate and became the client coordinator for La Posada.” … Click here to read the full story on the Valley Morning Star’s website.