In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month
A remarkable journey unfolds in a senior living community in the heart of Marin County amidst picturesque views of Mount Tamalpais and bay waters. A journey that started in a kitchen to make a difference in people’s lives.
Meet Erick Tobar, a determined individual whose journey from the kitchen to sales at a Sequoia Living Life Plan Community holds the promise of a brighter future for minorities.
A Humble Start
Erick’s journey at The Tamalpais Marin began as a senior in high school, newly immigrated from Guatemala, speaking limited English. Erick is driven to succeed, and with the encouragement of an acquaintance who worked in the community, he was hired in the kitchen. He ensured that salads and desserts were prepared for residents. After a few months and feeling more comfortable with his language skills, “I asked my manager if I could be moved out of the kitchen to the front of the house – to be a server,” said Erick. “And they gave me the opportunity.” He held a server position for four years. He graduated high school and attended community college in Marin during this time.
A Village of Support
Balancing studies with a full-time job was challenging, but he pushed through and transferred to UC Davis in 2020. At The Tamalpais, he had a village of support, including residents and co-workers who believed in his potential.
Through an established scholarship program available to employees as well as the children and grandchildren of staff, Erick became a scholarship recipient. He was awarded a scholarship providing financial support and mentorship during his educational career.
The Tamalpais Marin has been one of five Marin Retirement Communities with an established scholarship fund awarded through the 10,000 Degrees nonprofit for nearly two decades.
In 2022, Erick completed his Bachelor of Science in managerial economics and minor in accounting.
“The scholarship is to support, cultivate, and uplift students,” said Haggai Niv, Chair of the Marin Retirement Communities Scholarship Fund and resident at The Tamalpais Marin. “Through financial assistance and community backing, the committee’s goal is to bridge the gap and create opportunities for a brighter future.”
Empowering Dreams Beyond Education
Erick’s warm and approachable personality has made him a well-known staff member who loves his residents. His interactions add joyful moments to their day. As the sales assistant with a can-do attitude, he facilitates the move-in process for new residents.
Meanwhile, his ultimate goal is to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Once a CPA, he believes he’ll have the credibility and knowledge to help minorities, especially Latinos, secure a brighter financial future. Having grown up with a single mother, he knows too well the financial barriers Latinos often face. And talking about money can be a taboo topic within the Latino community.
He aims to break down barriers and build trust, offering guidance so that more minorities can enjoy the comforts and security of a Life Plan Community like The Tamalpais Marin.
“I want more Latinos to be proactive about planning for retirement,” says Erick. “I want us to start educating ourselves. This way, as we age, we can make sure we have the means for a comfortable retirement in a senior living community.”
Erick discussed the cultural barriers among older generations of Latinos, who often negatively perceive retirement communities. “We can show our children we have the power to save for retirement, to plan for our future, and to embrace communities like The Tamalpais.” It can contribute to a shift in mindset among younger generations of Latinos. “We will see more minorities, people of color, entering senior living communities as residents.”
The Village Impact
As we honor Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate Erick’s journey as a shining example of the difference a village of support can make. His story reminds us that by nurturing potential, believing in dreams, and offering support, we create a world where goals are achieved, barriers are broken, and communities thrive.
Join Sequoia Living, a village of outstanding individuals who live, work, and call a Life Plan Community home. See yourself at The Tamalpais Marin. Schedule a visit today or explore a career in senior living – make an impact on the lives of others.