Meet Our Social Recreation Coordinator, Victoria Espinoza!
Watching Victoria interact with our pediatric residents during my quick visit with her allowed me to see what our mission and values at Totally Kids are all about. The love and care she clearly feels for our residents is as evident as it is heartwarming. I truly enjoyed shadowing her for a small part of the day while bombarding her with questions about her contribution to Totally Kids.
Victoria joined Totally Kids Rehabilitation Hospital 4 years ago after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from California State University, Fullerton. Victoria joined our hospital with a desire to make a difference within any of our 2 largest wings, Subacute Care or Acute Rehabilitation. It was within Subacute Care that she was given the opportunity to put her strengths to work. Victoria’s work at Totally Kids has been nothing short of stellar. She is our very own and very successful Social Recreation Coordinator.
As part of her duties, Victoria is responsible for organizing activities that aim to meet the educational, social, emotional, and developmental needs of our residents. With 41 residents under her care, ages 3 to 21, Victoria organizes all activities to be conducted in small groups of residents in the same age groups and who have similar conditions.
These activities are extremely important because they contribute directly to the quality of life of our residents. On any given day, you may see Victoria walking residents to or picking them up from the Redlands Unified School District classrooms on our campus, coordinating trips to the mall, organizing trips to the movies, or making possible any of the special events and performances that are scheduled year-round.
Recently, Victoria made sure several of our residents experienced going to the prom. That’s right, they went to the prom! They participated in the annual prom, arranged by the Trinity Church in Redlands, which allows individuals with disabilities enjoy that most memorable of teenage experiences. At around the same time, our residents enjoyed a Cinco de Mayo performance by a local dance company.
Victoria also continuously arranges sensory art activities that take place at the bedside. These activities include, for example, putting together scrapbook pages and doing activities for our Music-and-Memory program, much to the enjoyment of many of our residents. She was especially happy to share with me all that goes on as part of this program, in which music is utilized as therapy and all kids get to enjoy their very own iPods. This is especially helpful to residents who are at a minimum conscious level because music stimulates several areas of the brain.
Victoria not only does her work with a smile on her face, but she also does it very quickly. She is a very fast walker. Believe me; I noticed, as I had to keep up with her! How did she get into the habit of walking so fast? Well, she had no choice. In a past work life, she was a server at the Islands restaurant, where her job was very fast paced and she had to zoom on by to continuously take care of dozens of customers and diners all at the same time. Not a bad habit to bring along with you, Victoria!
Victoria’s commitment to her work at Totally Kids is a direct result of the love she feels for the kids she works with every day, and of the immense joy she feels each time she witnesses the positive affect her work has on them. She remains thankful for the increased level of responsibility that was recently given to her, because it allows her to have an even bigger impact with the residents entrusted to her. We are all truly blessed to have such an extraordinary, loving, and caring person as part of our team.