‘I’m proud of where I came from’

‘I’m proud of where I came from’

For Claudia Evangelista Calvario, working as a social worker at the Aurora Walker’s Point Community Clinic feels like the perfect conclusion to a story that started when she was much younger. When she was a child, her family struggled financially. One social worker stood out as a kind and understanding source of help, forming an instant bond with a young Evangelista Calvario.  From that day forward, Evangelista Calvario wanted to be like her.

“I always told myself that if I could be like anybody, I’d be like that social worker,” Evangelista Calvario said. “I want someone to think of me when they need help.”

At Aurora Walker’s Point Community Clinic, Evangelista Calvario is the go-to person when people need help. She spends her days connecting the clinic’s mostly uninsured patients with resources including food, rental and even transportation assistance. About 70% of the clinic’s patients speak Spanish, which makes it even more important that the team there can speak the language and understand the culture of their patients.

“Being able to go into a place where providers can understand you in your language and understand your culture is very important to patients. They feel more comfortable here, like they’re just coming in to see their friends,” Evangelista Calvario said. “It’s the most amazing and rewarding job that I will ever have.”

Her role holds special meaning for Evangelista Calvario on many levels. She was born in Mexico and moved to Wisconsin in elementary school. At times, she didn’t feel like her culture was celebrated, especially going to schools where few people looked like her. On top of those challenges, she was worried that opportunities like college were out of reach.

Today, Evangelista Calvario is a college graduate and gets to provide help to people in her community, just like that social worker who inspired her. Hispanic Heritage Month gives her a chance to reflect and to celebrate where she came from.

“To have a month to celebrate your heritage is amazing. Being a Latina woman, I didn’t see a lot of people who looked like me in positions of power,” Evangelista Calvario said. “I used to feel like I had to be someone else. But it’s OK to be me, to be Hispanic, to be Mexican. I’m proud of where I came from.”

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About the Author

Ben Hoekstra
Ben Hoekstra

Ben Hoekstra is a public affairs coordinator with Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. He previously worked in marketing and PR for various Milwaukee nonprofits and received his master’s degree in Corporate Communications from Marquette University. He enjoys the outdoors, cooking, and all things Milwaukee.