Zoila Rosales Palomino

Social Worker

When I graduated from university, I applied for a job at Mama Alice. I passed the personal interview and the exams. I did not have many expectations of going to work, because I had no experience. When they called me to tell me they wanted me for the job, I could not believe it. I still remember my first day of work, I was very nervous. It felt like an unknown and new stage in my life, but happily, I found in Mama Alice, colleagues who helped me integrate and grow professionally. I have already been working here for nine years, it is my second home, my family. I learned everything here, counselling, working with adolescents and working with families. I learned to work as a team, to communicate and try to be assertive. I grew not only professionally but also personally . My great teachers are Frederique and Elba, and I still learn from them every day. I will always be grateful to Mama Alice for trusting me, and for trusting the people who have just graduated from university. We may not have all the experience, but we do have the energy and the desire to improve ourselves.

Since I was a little girl I have loved dogs because they are very faithful and loving. I am thinking of adopting one, it only makes me sad thatI live in a mini department and I do not have much space. I decided to take care of a dog, I have already decided about their names: If it is female its name would be ‘Patme’ and if it is a male, ‘Severus.

My partner Ricard also worked at Mama Alice and he has a big Mama Alice heart. I met him at work when he was the assistant to the carpentry teacher. In 2018 we had to work together and it was very difficult not to talk about work in our private time. He would tell me about his classes with the students, the difficulties and how they were learning to weld. He told me what happened with the students and together we looked for strategies to improve the work. When we realized that Mama Alice was always our topic of conversation, we decided to make a schedule: when we would and could not talk about work. In the beginning it was difficult but little by little we got used to respecting the schedule.

I would like to start vocational training in Bakery and pastry. Because almost all of us like sweets! With this vocational training, I would like our students to innovate the world of baking, with new creative ideas for the market. Because I consider that being a baker or pastry chef is an art and, like cooking, there is a lot to discover.

I am a perfectionist and this delays me in doing my jobs. I always find things to improve and don’t work as fast as I would like, but little by little I am improving.

For me, working for Mama Alice is very rewarding, especially when a child looks at you and comes running to you, screaming with joy “miss Zoila” and then gives you a very big hug.

It’s also fascinating to see our students grow, overcome their fears, find their own way, grow and succeed. Every time I feel emotional when a teenager in tears says: “Thank you for trusting me and believing in me.” You can’t imagine how it feels to see a mother who suffered from violence, empower herself, hearing her say: “ I don’t accept violence in my life, I want to get ahead for myself and my children.” To see her fight day by day and now to see her daughters finish school. Oooohhh those are the priceless things that fill my soul.