Highlighting Orlando

Miriam Gonzalez: Charting New Paths

Posted on 06/04/24 by Isabella Pfeiffer

Miriam Gonzalez’s journey from Cuba to the United States was marked by a profound sense of displacement, both culturally and linguistically. Upon arriving eight years ago to live with her daughter in Florida, she found herself grappling with unfamiliar customs and struggling to form meaningful connections due to the language barrier.

Guided by her neighbor Lydia's Rivera’s introduction, a lead AARP Volunteer, Miriam discovered a vibrant community within AARP—a community that not only embraced her but also provided a platform for her to continue her mission of empowerment and support. Her time with AARP Florida has not only provided her with opportunities to give back but has also connected her with others in the community.

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While she lived in Cuba, Miriam’s career focused on patient care – ensuring that all who entered her hospital were aware of both their conditions and any available resources. This dedication to empowering others transitioned into her volunteer work with AARP, especially regarding her involvement with AARP-Florida's Walk With A Doc campaign, where she leads participants alongside medical professionals towards a healthier future as everyone is safely able to exercise while learning about relevant health issues.

Together with Lydia, Miriam actively engages with her community by setting up tables in local plazas and chatting with those walking past about all the ways AARP can help them. Through these interactions, Miriam not only shares valuable knowledge but also forms genuine connections with people who may have otherwise remained strangers.

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Miriam not only shares information covering issues like fraud protection, caregiver support, and upcoming AARP functions, but she also does hands-on volunteer work in her community. This past Christmas, she and Lydia spent the holiday packaging food, where she was able to spread the gift of service.

Through her efforts with AARP, Miriam feels a familiar sense of fulfillment and gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to the fifty-plus community, as well as the Latin community of Orlando, and her "Ojos Brillantes" shine brightly as she rediscovers her passion for social engagement and community service in her new home.

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