Kelly Kirschner shovels dirt to the dedication tree

UnidosNow has been a tenant partner on the Campus of Caring since 2012 and has been an incredible resource for Hispanic/Latino youths in our community. This past month UnidosNow remembered their colleague and friend Hector Tejeda with the planting of a Jatropha tree in his signature red. Hector worked with UnidosNow from 2014 to 2020 to elevate the quality of life in the Hispanic/Latino community in the Manatee and Sarasota region through education, integration and civic engagement. Hector passed away in August of last year, and the dedication will ensure that his memory lives on.

When UnidosNow approached us with the plan of honoring Hector with a dedicated tree, our facilities and maintenance team got to work to turn this idea into a reality. Facilities Manager, Marian Haupt and Maintenance Staff Tyler Laughlin cleared a space and quickly turned an unused spot of grass into a beautiful garden. They handled the plotting of flowers, herbs and bushes to give Hector’s tree a proper home. They set the space perfectly so the final piece could be done during our ceremony.

Before joining UnidosNow Hector attended Harvard for his masters and had been working as an MBA Career Management Counselor for Wharton at Penn. Yet Hector didn’t let the success he found in life distance him from the realities others face, instead he left retirement and took his skills to nonprofit work. Hector initially took on an Executive Director position but after less than a year he stepped down for a more frontline role in preparing Hispanic/Latino students for college and careers. Hector took his mission to heart and to home as he engaged with students on a personal level. Whether he was making a house call to talk with parents directly about their child’s future, going along to college tours or even driving his students to their interviews himself; Hector had a direct hand in lifting his students up to the potential he knew they had.

Hector Tejeda smiling in front of a mural.

It was clear as day that Hector touched many lives, as his family, students and coworkers gathered to remember a man that meant so much to them and this community. Each took a part in planting the tree, completing the garden where everyone on our campus can remember Hector and those he helped. He leaves behind a legacy of inspired people to continue his work.



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Real estate is one of the greatest costs in a business budget. Our partnership with The Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center allows more money to go towards our mission. And what better place to house our office than on a campus with nineteen other outreach agencies.

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Janet Kahn Executive Director Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County
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Collaboration is key to the success of our work. The Campus of Caring is a unique space where we can easily join forces with other agencies to make the best use of our resources and maximize our community impact. The affordable rent allows us to allocate more funds to our mission of transforming the lives of students and their families.

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Cintia Elenstar Executive Director UnidosNow
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As a small organization with a staff of two, employee safety was a big consideration when we were looking for office space. We did not want our employees to be in a place where they were alone. Being on the GSHSC campus has been great because there is a whole community of like-minded professionals.

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Svetlana Kaminsky Executive Director Children's Guardian Fund
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