When Flavia Pinheiro was attending Seton Hall University, she didn’t know a summer internship would lead to a full-time job. But that’s what happened.
In the summer of 2016, Pinheiro interned at Douglas Homes, 15 Hill St., Newark, under the supervision of the Resident Services Coordinator at the time, Luz Toro. She participated in the internship for the experience, not knowing it would serve as training for her future position.
Pinheiro graduated from Seton Hall University in May 2017 with a major in Social and Behavioral Science and a minor in Social Work. For three months before graduation, she interned at Spectrum Works in Secaucus, a nonprofit organization that provides job training for young adults with autism. When Pinheiro graduated, Spectrum Works hired her for a part-time position. When not working there, she babysat.
She was looking for full-time work when she saw a job opening at New Community. She reached out to Director of Resident Services Donnette Burrowes-Williams and landed the job of Resident Services Coordinator at Associates, 180 South Orange Ave., Newark, in October 2017.
Then in December 2018, Burrowes-Williams asked her to consider taking on the role of Home Friend Program Coordinator and Food Pantry Representative following a resignation.
Pinheiro accepted the role on an interim basis. After about one month, she took over the position permanently.
“She was an employee who was committed and dedicated to the New Community mission and she built a long-lasting rapport with the residents,” Burrowes-Williams said. “Flavia showed tremendous growth and was thus promoted to Home Friend Program Coordinator for which she kept the same momentum and tenacity going with her staff and residents making sure that our inner-city residents improve the quality of their lives.”
The Home Friend Program provides services, including light housekeeping and small errands, to seniors 60 years and older residing in Newark’s Central Ward that have Medicare only. Pinheiro manages the program and makes sure the six full-time Home Friends are providing appropriate services to the 44 clients currently in the program. She also conducts an initial assessment of clients and yearly reassessments to ensure they are still eligible to participate.
Pinheiro manages New Community’s Emergency Food Pantry by accepting the allocations that come in. She also manages volunteers that come monthly, ensures clients are eligible before servicing them and oversees the distribution process.
Pinheiro’s favorite part of her job is getting positive feedback from the people being served.
“When the clients call and are grateful for the service, I think that’s the most rewarding part of it,” she said.
Pinheiro is appreciative to have moved up within New Community.
“I enjoy what I do. It’s very rewarding,” she said. “And I really do thank Donnette, especially for seeing the potential.”
Burrowes-Williams is happy with the decision to promote Pinheiro.
“Flavia is a hard worker, she makes work fun and always has a smile on her face,” Burrowes-Williams said. “She’s an employee you can count on to get the job done.”
Pinheiro was born in Portugal and moved to Newark when she was 2.5, where she has lived ever since. She remains fluent in Portuguese and also knows Spanish at an intermediate level, which allows her to help with translations for the Resident Services Department.
She has relatives in Portugal, including grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. She enjoys going back to her home country for visits.
In addition to traveling, Pinheiro likes to go hiking in Pennsylvania and Ramapo and enjoys shopping. She currently lives in Newark with her husband.