Catalyst Miami is uniquely defined by five intrinsic values: leadership, collaboration, innovation, self-empowerment, and compassion. Combined, these values tell the compelling story of how individuals connect to our organization and thrive to make a collective impact in their communities. Enjoy staff member Gina Ha's beautiful original paintings and story as they unfold over five days leading up to Give Miami Day December 12. Follow our journey of five noteworthy Catalyst Champions who embody these values.
We continue the story of our core values with today's focus on Woodie Pagan, a Miami ReServist who made an indelible impression at the Alliance for Aging.
The journey starts with leadership; the ability and willingness to dream with an internal compass (read more)...
Collaboration makes the feat possible, incorporating various gifts from others: passion that fuels, ideas that then radiate, efforts that connect and bind, and a strong base of support that upholds.
The workshop on Tuesday in Little Havana was to train 15 elders in safe-walking behaviors. All arrangements had been made and materials prepared: 15 Certificates of Completion were printed for each “older graduate” and 15 Safety Kits assembled for each as a graduation gift. The room was set up, attendance sheet ready, curriculum module loaded on the laptop, a new light bulb in the projector -- and all systems a “go.”
The trainer for the workshop called my cell phone the night before the Little Havana event. “Hi. Guess how many participants are coming to the workshop tomorrow?” he asked. “Oh, the 15 we planned for,” I responded. “Nope,” he continued; “there will be more than 300 elders at the workshop in the Little Havana Activity & Nutrition Center!”
I gasped, caught my breath and said, “Woodie, do you want to do this?” He quickly responded, “Yes.”
I asked him, “Can you do this?” He replied a simple, “Yeah, sure, no problem.”
That, in essence, is Woodie Pagan, lawyer, ex-New York Traffic Court Judge, ex-high school football coach, college baseball and football player, HUD developer -- and now, in his encore career through ReServe, a Project Specialist for the Alliance for Aging. There is nothing too big or too small for this exceptional person to tackle when he commits and believes in what he is doing.
Woodie is proving to be an invaluable employee who has embraced the opportunity to make our diverse elders throughout Miami-Dade County safer. His inimitable and friendly style makes everyone around him feel at ease, and his approachability transfers into the community as he trains hundreds of older people how to be more careful about walking on the streets of Miami. His experience base includes years of diplomacy, a teaching background, practical understanding of non-profit operation and programs, and a keen legal mind. More importantly, though, this Reservist exemplifies how the “right fit” between a person and a job – no matter at what stage of life -- can revitalize and invigorate both.
Woodie Pagan is a Catalyst Champion. Would you consider being a champion as well? Commit now to support Catalyst Miami on Give Miami Day December 12th and join our local movement to connect for good.
Officially launched on October 13, 2011, ReServe Miami connects the county’s nonprofits and public institutions (Partners) to experienced professionals 55+ (“ReServists”) who want to give back to their communities. By connecting these nonprofits to experienced professionals, ReServe Miami is helping its Partners build a stronger and more vibrant Miami. Woodie Pagan, a ReServist with the Alliance for Aging, will always be remembered for the impact he made in at his host organization and in the community. Contributing author, Islara B. Souto, Director of Planning and Special Projects with the Alliance for Aging.
Light the Leadership Path with Ed Soto, Collaborate Across Ages with Woody Pagan, Create Innovation with Caitlin McLaren, Engage and Empower with Maisah Williams, Caring and Sharing with Myrian Crissien