Diversity and Inclusion in Action is a new feature highlighting employee stories of inspiration, perseverance and management best practices in workforce development and diversity. If you know of someone who should be considered for the series, email a short summary to Emmanuela Menard or Dianne Austin, Human Resources.

How did you come to work at the MGH?

I was born in Guatemala and moved to Providence, Rhode Island, when I first moved to the United States. I met my wife in Boston and we have been married for 10 years. My wife, Reina Maldonado, a medical assistant in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and her mother encouraged me to apply at MGH. They said this is a place with a lot of room for growth. I started working here in August 2011 part time in Environmental Services in the Emergency Department. After a about a year, I got my first promotion. I chose MGH because it’s a big place full of opportunities.

Have there been challenges along your career path? If so, how did you overcome them?

You will always hear a mix of positive and negative feedback. People told me that there were too many people in line for the promotion I applied for, or that I was too new here and should wait my turn. I didn’t listen and decided to focus on my goal to grow and build good relationships with my coworkers.

Has your career taken any surprising turns?

With the support of my manager I was able to participate in programs like ESOL classes and the Be Fit Latino program. I completed both programs and became the chairman of Be Fit Latino. The success of Be Fit Latino opened another door for me as it introduced me to the Committee for Latino Initiatives. This program has added valuable skills to my professional development, requiring me to perform presentations in both English and Spanish to recruit employees to participate. Be Fit Latino has been so successful that it now has a waitlist to participate.

What do you see as your role in diversity and inclusion efforts here at the MGH And in your own community?

At the MGH, people come from all over. Part of our jobs is to make everyone feel welcome. Outside of work, I coach my son’s soccer team in West Roxbury. I also serve as a music instructor for a 20-member bilingual musical group with my community church. We often receive invitations to perform at music shows and out-of-state conferences. That always touches my heart because we need these sort of programs to build community.

What advice would you give those looking to create a more equitable environment here at the MGH?

I learned from my parents that respect is the key to open any door in your life. They also taught me to treat people in a way they wish to be treated rather than the way you wish to be treated. At MGH, I think it is important to be willing to learn, accept feedback and listen to the concerns of those around you. Even the most enlightened individual can find opportunities for growth.

Read more articles from the 02/22/19 Hotline issue.