When Veronica Pavlakis was still in high school, she decided to volunteer at Carlton Senior Living in San Leandro. The location was close to her home and she earned high school credits for the hours she worked. Though she was only 15 years old at the time, Pavlakis said she bonded with many residents at the community.
Pavlakis enjoyed the experience so much she applied to work for Carlton Senior Living, and in 2008, she became the director of first impressions. In that position, Pavlakis said she really started to understand the Carlton Senior Living philosophy.
“No one here says, ‘That’s not my job,’” Pavlakis said. “You see your coworkers more than your family, so when someone needs help, we all pitch in and pick up the ball.”
In 2009, Pavlakis asked executive director Nancy Randhawa if she could be part of the activities team and became the personal expressions assistant, helping lead activities for residents and creating new events. A few months later, she was hired as the personal expressions director at Carlton Senior Living in Fremont. Though she missed her coworkers and the residents at San Leandro, Pavlakis said it was an opportunity she could not miss.
A year later, the personal expressions director position opened at San Leandro. After a phone call with Randhawa, she was hired. Pavlakis has now been the personal expressions director in San Leandro for six years.
“They say if you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life,” Pavlakis said. “I love being here and being around the residents. When I’m talking with them and participating in activities with them, age never comes up. We are just people having fun together.”