It’s International Women’s Week, and we are celebrating by highlighting the hard-working, dedicated and caring women of Pathlight HOME. They help us serve those experiencing homelessness by providing affordable housing and economic opportunities. We spoke to a few of the devoted women of Pathlight HOME about what motivates them to serve their community and how they found their way to Pathlight.
“Serving the community means a lot to me because I am able to witness lives changed for the better and I can lend a hand in whatever way I can.”
Sheila Beaty, Employment Counselor
In 2018, Sheila retired from a 43-year-long career at the Department of Health and Human Services. A few years later, she became inspired by our mission and joined Pathlight HOME. Sheila has a heart to serve and genuinely enjoys helping those seeking assistance to improve their lives. She works in our Employment Center and Culinary Program to help students develop their employability skills to assist in their job search. Sheila enjoys witnessing the growth of Pathlight HOME’s Culinary Program participants, saying, “Some students start the program with no confidence, afraid and no plans for the future. When they graduate, some are surprised they are able to pass the test.”
Fun fact: I love almost all types of music and I love to dance and sing
“It’s a privilege to be part of a team of compassionate and skilled professionals who head home at the end of the day with a sense of pride about our efforts, knowing that we made a difference – one person at a time.”
Audrey Sandford, Programs Manager
Audrey’s journey with Pathlight HOME began in 2002, as a case manager for the Homes for New Beginnings program. Over the past two decades, she developed and worked in other case management programs at Pathlight HOME. As a registered nurse, Audrey has applied her bedside nursing and case management skills to serving newly-housed individuals with mental and physical disabilities. Serving the community and respecting people whether underserved or homeless is a part of who she is. For Audrey, it is a privilege to be a part of Pathlight HOME’s team of compassionate and skilled professionals. She takes pride in Pathlight’s efforts of serving the community.
Fun fact: I teach the Hebrew language to people of all ages.
“One day at a time, we are collectively putting in the work to make changes that better our community.”
Natalia Lescano, Volunteer & In-Kind Coordinator
Serving the community means the world to Natalia. She is our Volunteer & In-Kind Coordinator. Nat coordinates the volunteers that support Pathlight HOME and oversees our in-kind donation process. She joined us in October 2022 after graduating from UCF with a bachelor's in nonprofit management, later developing her skills in nonprofit operations and event support. Making a positive change in the lives of Pathlight HOME's residents, clients and members motivates Nat as a nonprofit leader. When asked what it means to serve the community, she says “One day at a time, we are collectively putting in the work to make changes that better our community.”
Fun fact: I'm a big foodie, I love hunting down hidden gems in our city.
“Supporting people who are looking to better their lives through community service helps to grow an even stronger community.”
Diana Gonzalez, Assistant Property Manager
Community and volunteer work is a big part of Diana’s life. For her, serving the community means “helping people who have not been as blessed as you.” Diana believes giving support and a smile goes a long way when people have lost hope. She joined Pathlight in 2018 after being referred to an administrative assistant position in Maxwell Garden. Before accepting the job, she actually worked as a security officer at Maxwell Garden with a different company. Diana has since been promoted to a leasing consultant in 2020 and is now an assistant property manager. She says that supporting people who are looking to better their lives through community service helps to grow an even stronger community.
Fun fact: I love to spend my time with family and friends and most importantly my daughter. It's become so much fun being the sidekick in all her adventures.
“During my time of need, all that I needed was someone to help me along the way. I strive to be that to my clients.”
Tatiana Cherry, Assistant Lead Case Manager
Even before joining Pathlight HOME, Tatiana has always been passionate about helping those experiencing homelessness. Tatiana's own experience of overcoming homelessness encouraged her to seek out opportunities to help others in a similar position. Previously working as a receptionist, housing specialist and housing case manager at a low-barrier residential shelter, Tatiana says she realized her “true purpose is helping others.” As a case manager at Pathlight HOME, she continues her goal of being there for her community. Assisting someone to overcome barriers motivates Tatiana to never give up as a nonprofit leader. Her experience working with case workers who were kind, thoughtful and understanding inspires her to provide the same grace to her clients at Pathlight HOME.
Fun Fact: I enjoy spending time with my 3 children and sisters.