Retirement spurs change for Family Resource Center
A good sign of what Margarita de Nevarez meant to the Truckee Family Resource Center was evident when the organization closed its doors as she retired.The closure is temporary. Organizers plan to reopen the center once a new plan for the organization is formulated and a new director is hired. But when the organization starts up again, those who have worked with Nevarez say her enthusiasm and inspiration will be missed.”Margarita is irreplaceable,” said Kim Bradley, the director of the Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee. “It is going to be difficult to find someone with her skills and linkages.”The Family Resource Center, which operated out of a small office in the KidZone Museum, has been piloted by Nevarez since its inception more than four years ago. Under her direction the organization has connected families with vital services like health care and education services.
The position, much like her previous jobs dealing with education and Latino issues, was a perfect fit for Nevarez.”It’s more or less the job that I have been doing my whole life,” Nevarez said. “So I will miss it.”The community collaborative is looking at expanding the Family Resource Center by increasing funding and services. Part of that increase in staff will be necessary just to replace Nevarez, who has been the sole full-time employee of the center, Bradley said.”It has been operating on a shoestring budget, and we want to see if it can grow,” Bradley said.That change, most likely, will mean a move from the KidZone after the planning process for the center is finished at the end of this year.
Even though Nevarez is retiring from the center, her participation in improving the social situation of Truckee’s families is not ending. And she will carry on her involvement in the Latino community as one of 115 nationwide members of the consultant committee for the Institute of Mexicans Abroad, a position to which she was elected this week. “We never let good non-profit people like Margarita leave the field,” said Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation President Lisa Dobey. “We are always going to be looking for ways to keep those people involved in the community.”But the many people she has come to know in her 43 years living in Truckee say the Family Resource Center has big shoes to fill after her departure.”We won’t be able to replace Margarita,” said Tamara Lieberman, who has known Nevarez since the late 1970s. “There will be another person that will take her place, but there won’t be another Margarita.”
Some of Nevarez’s closest friends met at OB’s Pub and Restaurant over a week ago to hold a retirement party for her. The women who got up and spoke of Nevarez’s inspiration and help at the party were the most telling signs of her imprint on the Truckee community, Lieberman said.”She’s been an inspiration, a model and a leader,” Lieberman said. “She’s been a mentor.”Truckee Family Resource Center The mission of the center is to link resources and to advocate for and with families. The community plays a key role in the family resource center.
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