a rainbow falls on the Los Angeles LGBT center

Success Is Coming

I have some great news to share with you all today - I just recently got a promotion at work. I am beyond ecstatic for the new opportunities that are emerging within my professional career.

As you all know I have been working at the Los Angeles LGBT Center for over 3 years now. My current position is outreach coordinator, but my new title will be program supervisor. I have been in the field of public health doing HIV prevention work for a long time, but this will be the first position within the field where I am a supervisor.

I have had supervisor experience in the past but within the retail environment. This was before I found out that I was HIV-positive and before I started a career in public health.

Outreach coordinator job duties

As the outreach coordinator, one of my job duties was to oversee all the outreach for our site. Outreach consisted of going to places like bars, clubs, college campuses, coffee shops, malls, and other places that our target demographic may frequent. Our target demographic are men who have sex with men (MSM) of color ages 18 to 29.

A major part of doing outreach at places within the community was to funnel individuals into services like HIV and STI testing, PrEP and PEP navigation, prevention programs, or social support groups. Even though my target demographic was MSM, I was very cognizant of what our site needed to grow and expand.

Outreach for everyone in the community

I knew outreach had to be done to all in the community regardless of sexual orientation, gender, or race. I wanted everyone in the community to know the services and programs we offer.

Being the overall outreach coordinator for the site really allowed me to dip my toes into every program and service housed at our site as well as work with different priority populations.

Responsibilities as program supervisor

My new position as program supervisor is now giving me the opportunity to supervise staff as well as oversee day-to-day operations and implement programming. I am excited to have way more responsibility within my organization and feel that it is setting me up for a path to success.

I have honestly tried to show my supervisors and managers how important this career is to me. In the past, I have done things like coordinating outreach, implementing prevention programs, and doing HIV testing and counseling. I did all these duties as an entry-level employee.

Supporting staff in pushing the work forward

I know that now, as the supervisor, my role will be very different. All of these things I have done in the past will still be a part of my job but, instead, I will be overseeing the staff who are doing these duties.

What I do know is that I will have to go about the job very differently now because I will no longer be the one on the frontline. The 1 thing that I will need to work on every day is taking a step back and really letting my staff push the work forward.

Creating and sustaining partnerships

Working within this field for so long has really helped me build relationships with community members. One major job responsibility that I will have to get adjusted to is creating and sustaining new partnerships outside of the community.

Before I would create partnerships where I could promote the programs and services as well as do outreach which was more on the surface. In this new role, I need to really focus on how our site can grow within this community and what possible partners we could team up with to further support programming and funding opportunities.

How can I help us grow better and stronger?

The programs that I am directly overseeing are funded through the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Even though we have funding sources available, I am always looking for new ways to expand the services that we offer to the community. These can be services that are directly funded or services that are offered to us for free.

Like I have said in the past, I am a very social person so making these connections will not be a problem for me. I have already reached out to several partner organizations and scheduled walkthroughs of our site as well as meetings to discuss how we can help one another in reaching the community. I really want to share with other organizations all the amazing work that my staff does daily.

My first duty as a supervisor will be to start conducting interviews with people who are interested in my old position before I got promoted. I honestly cannot wait to do this because being in the position before really taught me how crucial that position is in promoting the services and how much of an asset whoever fills that position will be. I want to really work with this person and shape them the way that my supervisors helped and shaped me.

A lot of hard work and dedication

It took hard work and dedication to get to this point in my life. It took long, late nights at bars and clubs doing outreach. It took awkward conversations at bathhouses talking to half-dressed men about our services and how important routine HIV testing is. It took patience with individuals during times when I would facilitate sexual health workshops. It took many deep breathes whenever I had to disclose a positive test result to a client. It took me putting myself and my status out to the world so that the community had someone to reach out and relate to.

It took a lot but, in the end, it was all worth it. I see myself going very far in this field. Every new position brings new opportunities to grow and be a better version of myself. I constantly am learning within this career and will continue to strive for success.

Overall, I am beyond happy about this new opportunity and cannot wait to show the world what I can achieve in the next few years. I will continue in the fight against HIV and ending the epidemic.

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