For twenty years, early in her life Marisol lived in a building on St. Ann’s Boulevard when the building was a part of the New York City Housing Authority. Years later, Marisol finds that her story has come full circle, as the Assistant Department Director for Access to Benefits and Homelessness Prevention Programs at BronxWorks, the organization now providing transformative services in that same building on St. Ann’s.
Marisol was born in Puerto Rico, came with her family to the Bronx when she was four years old, and has been living in the Bronx ever since. She attended the Theodore Roosevelt High School, earned her Associate’s Degree from the Bronx Community College, her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Lehman College, and her Master’s in Public Administration from the Metropolitan College of New York.
As I started working at BronxWorks, I saw the huge need for walk-in services and assistance. I saw seniors who had difficulty completing paperwork or re-certifications to stay in their own apartments. It inspired me to continue on in this field.”
Marisol started working at BronxWorks in 1998 as a Family Childcare Specialist. Her job at that time was to enroll family childcare providers into a program to ensure that they were adequately resourced, trained, and had the necessary licenses and support to provide high-quality childcare to their communities. Shortly after joining the program, Marisol was promoted to Program Coordinator to build a cohesive network of family childcare providers. She would conduct home visits to the childcare providers, approve their home childcare setup, ensure they had the proper resources, and help make referrals to members of the network.
After two years, Marisol was promoted to Program Director of the Avenue St. John and Townsend Walk-in Offices, and a few years after that, she was again promoted to the Assistant Department Director overseeing all four of the walk-in and referral offices at the time. Since then, Marisol has helped oversee the growth of the department for over twenty years.
As BronxWorks has grown and added so many different programs, the department has grown with it. Because BronxWorks is so broad and offers so many services, we are able to make a lot of referrals within the agency, and getting people assistance quickly and efficiently.”
Outside of work, Marisol loves to spend time with her family and watch movies with her husband and her daughter. She and her eight sisters and five brothers love to get together at the park and spend holidays together as a family.