PLANT CITY Silvia Tamez has always had a passion for helping others.
So when Tamez was offered a job as client advocate to Hispanics at the Pregnancy Care Center of Plant City, she knew she couldn’t say no.
“I knew this was where I wanted to be,” she said. “I love this place because they actually help all the girls.”
Tamez, who attends the Spanish ministry services at Knights Baptist Church in Plant City, said that her pastor’s wife Terry Dygert suggested that she volunteer at the center because of the need for bilingual client advocates. But what began as volunteer work grew into a part time position with soon to be extended hours due to a growing demand.
“You see every single girl and they love this place,” she said. “This is something that fills my heart.”
Client Services Director Beth Odom said that in October the center received a grant from the Children’s Board which enabled it to hire more staff and extend current staff members’ hours.
“We have 10 hours available now with our Spanish speaking client advocate,” she said, adding that all 10 of Tamez’s hours filled up within the first two weeks of her employment.
Odom said the number of Spanish speaking clients has more than doubled since Tamez began with the center in October.
Prior to the start of the center’s bilingual program, Spanish speaking clients had to provide their own interpreters which often led to challenges in building relationships with them during sessions, she said.
The center needed a staff member who could speak to Spanish speaking clients and build rapport with them, Odom said.
“It is easier because you build a better relationship with them,” she said. “They seem to build more trust and rapport with us when they’re with us one on one.”
The center at 304 N. Collins St. offers an array of services, including parenting classes, counseling and prenatal care. All services are offered free to clients.
For information, contact the care center at (813) 759-0886.