by Veronica Hernandez, Human Resources Assistant
I started in 2000 – it makes it easy to remember how long I’ve been here!
What have you discovered about working at SafePlace in the past 10 years?
The recognition of SafePlace in our community and nation-wide makes me realize that our efforts are making our world a better place. What more could I ask for?
What’s the most gratifying part of your work?
There are so many things! I love seeing teens open up and share stories about themselves. For someone who may never have taken that risk, it’s a huge step, and then bigger changes come soon after. I love seeing teens become advocates and leaders in SafePlace issues. They have the most creative ideas, and hearing them speak to their peers or to adults is SO inspiring and exciting – way more than I could ever be! I love my co-workers. They are so passionate, kind, and dedicated that it keeps me motivated every day.
First Job Ever:
I worked as a type of office aide in a program very similar to the City of Austin Summer Youth Employment.
What do you do for fun when you’re not working?
I’m a foodie, so I love anything to do with food – cooking, trying new restaurants and cuisines, growing my own vegetables in my backyard, and reading food blogs. I also like to travel, read, scrapbook, play soccer, and hug on my dog, Chi.
Agnes Aoki is a Counseling Manager in the SafePlace Expect Respect Department. She supervises Expect Respect Counselors who facilitate groups in the middle and high schools in the Austin area, and has her own caseload of clients that she meets with individually. Agnes also assists with the implementation of a project in which The Center for Disease Control is currently evaluating the Expect Respect support groups as a way to prevent domestic, dating, and sexual violence. The Expect Respect Program engages young people and adults in building safe and healthy relationships.