Roller-coaster! That’s exactly what I felt when I returned to work after spring break. I knew our administration was trying to figure out all the details before letting us go home. I will be very honest—I didn’t have a clue of how the Family Empowerment Center would be transitioned to an online platform. I was in the dark and thought I wouldn’t be able to figure things out. However, as the days followed, I learned how to navigate Microsoft Teams and started connecting with community partners, and I started feeling a sense of hope.
Many of our community partners were transitioning to online, and many services were going to be made available for our students. Then we started working from home on March 23, and it was another wave of emotions. I felt hopeless and very depressed at moments. I started building a routine for my children and myself.
I created a space for my children to study in the dining room, I had my office in my daughter’s room, and my husband set up his office in our bedroom.
During lunch time we would eat on our patio and talk about happy memories, and then, we started an exercise routine to stay physically active.
There were moments I would get some rays of sunshine—I would feel reenergized, and I would take advantage of those positive vibes. I started exploring more ideas and stated connecting with more organizations. We were able to transition most of our programs to an online platform, calls started to come through Jabber, and we started to assist students and community through calls and emails.
I started to feel useful and that feeling kept me motivated. I started getting meeting invites for the week of March 27, and little by little, the darkness started to fade away. I started to receive responses from organizations, and I stayed engaged with daily news to get updates on food, financial and wellness assistance. By March 29, I knew my place was to be that resource guru!
Yolanda Sifuentes is the coordinator of Special Projects in the Family Empowerment Center at TCC South. She enjoys hiking, gardening and home décor projects.