Rosa Alfaro, site coordinator for the Lasley Cottages Before and After School Program, has been making a difference in the lives of children and their families for many years. In addition to coordinating Camp E.C.O. at Bear Creek Lake Park each summer, she works year-round to better the Lakewood community. The following is a letter from a parent whose family has been influenced by Alfaro’s dedication:

Today my youngest child, Alysia, began the seventh grade. What struck me about today was the realization that she is growing up and embarking on the next chapter in her childhood and most importantly, that we would not have Rosa Alfaro there for us for each school day and summer vacation due to this. You see, Rosa has been a part of our lives since our oldest child, Carlos, began kindergarten 13 years ago. Rosa has unofficially become a member of our family.

The purpose of this letter is to let you know what a gem you have on your staff. Not only has Rosa been consistent and stable for so many years in her position, which is a rarity these days, but she is caring, professional, and passionate about what she does. One of the biggest challenges I have faced as a working parent is trusting other adults to care for my children. Rosa took on this responsibility and always went above and beyond to ensure my kids had the supervision, care, and often times a listening ear that they needed. My children always felt safe with her and enjoyed spending time at after school care.

Not only did Rosa provide child care, but when Carlos was old enough, she recruited and mentored him for his first job as a summer camp counselor at Camp E.C.O. Due to her modeling a good work ethic, he learned to be a hard worker and to have a job that he thoroughly enjoyed. Carlos is now a senior in high school and has begun the process of writing essays for various scholarships and universities. One essay in particular stood out to me due to his reference of the difference between a leader and a boss. When I questioned him about where he learned about something so insightful, he indicated he was referencing Rosa and what she has taught him about leadership. At age 16, he has learned lessons from Rosa that many adults have still not figured out.

I highly recommend Rosa and the City of Lakewood School Age programs to my friends and family. I am hopeful you will pass along my compliment to the appropriate people within your organization and if possible, this information is included in Rosa’s performance evaluation. We will miss seeing Rosa each school day and know the children she is currently providing care for are very lucky to have her!