Hispanic Heritage Month: Highlighting Hispanic Voices Within Our Community

October 14, 2022

Each year, Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 – October 15 by celebrating and reflecting on the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans with Hispanic ancestry. This year’s national theme is Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation, and the best way to honor the inclusivity and contributions of the Hispanic leaders on our teams is to give their voices a platform.

Three employees within our Enlivant community are sharing issues that face their communities and how they’ve been shape by their heritages. These team members help enrich the lives of our residents every single day, so read on to meet them and listen to their energetic playlist!



Arturo (Tito) Carrillo-Giron - Senior Payroll Specialist

Tito Carrillo-Giron is a proud immigrant from Mexico and a first generation American. He grew up in Guanajuato until he was 15 years old in his hometown of San Miguel de Allende. Now, he serves as a Senior Payroll Specialist at the Enlivant Support Center in Chicago.

How has your Hispanic/Latinx heritage influenced you?

My Hispanic heritage bleeds into so many aspects of who I am, in great part due to my parents instilling our heritage values within me. The values have allowed me to connect with my culture and learn to accept and love everything about being Hispanic/Latino. From our food, music, tv shows, language, and traditions. All these aspects have made me who I am!

What is one issue facing the Hispanic and Latino communities that you would like to bring awareness to?

Breaking the stigma that surrounds mental health in our community is very important to me. Hispanics see seeking help as a weakness and don’t want to be considered “locos” (crazy). The negative attributes that surround mental health cause for people to not seek treatment.  As a first generation American, I like to advocate that mental health in our community is real and important.

What are some ways you share who you are in the workplace?

One way I share who I am is by what I bring for lunch. Before the pandemic, I would bring my lunch to work at the Support Center, and it was usually filled with leftover dinner from the night before. I would bring typical Mexican foods and my colleagues would ask what I was eating that smelled so good.

Sometimes, I also speak Spanish with my colleagues. When I receive a call and they ask if I speak Spanish, it feels nice saying “Si, como le puedo ayudar.” (Yes, how can I help you?)

What is one piece of advice you would like to pass down to future generations?

There’s a saying in Spanish, “El que no arriesga, no gana.” In essence, is means that if you don’t take risk, you don’t win. I would like for future generations to know that it’s okay to take risk - to go to college, to open a business, to book a flight, to buy a house, to run a marathon, to have the slice of cake, etc. 

What are some of your favorite songs that honor your heritage?

We definitely need some music from Vicente Fernandez, especially his song “El Rey.” I would also add music by Luis Miguel, “Mexico en la Piel” who is considered Mexico’s sun (El Sol de Mexico). Also, add some of Latin America’s biggest and most popular band ever RBD and something to have us dancing I would add reggaeton’s biggest star, Bad Bunny!



Check out our Hispanic Heritage Playlist on Spotify!



Virginia Howard - Director of Payroll

Virginia Howard has been part of the Enlivant family since 2015 and has worn many different hats working in the payroll department, and she currently serves as Director of Payroll. At home, she adores spending time with her family and animals. She has two Labrador retrievers that she spoils rotten named Hershey and Oso (Bear in Spanish.)

How has your Hispanic/Latinx heritage influenced you?

My heritage influenced my strong faith in God, family values and overall relationship values. I learned that family isn’t always blood related, which is why my kids currently have about 30 tias and tios (aunts and uncles). 

It’s also influenced my hospitable nature, love for cooking and knowledge that Mexican food can heal the soul (and a hangover!). It’s influenced my taste in music and my rhythm on the dance floor, which is usually my kitchen while I’m cooking. Finally, it’s influenced my strong work ethic and perseverance. I could always hear my late mother’s voice in my ear saying, “You could do it mija, don’t give up.”

What is one issue facing the Hispanic and Latino communities that you would like to bring awareness to?

The widening wealth gap in America between Non-Latino White Americans and Latinos.  This gap that favors Non-Latino White Americans, affects equal opportunity, equitable access to traditional financial banking and credit, education, fair housing practices, health, and overall longevity of life.        

What are some ways you share who you are in the workplace?

My favorite Enlivant Core Value has always been FUN!  My team knows that although we work hard, I make sure that we play harder!

What is one piece of advice you would like to pass down to future generations?

Own your Latino roots! Even if your ethnic background isn’t immediately identifiable. Your Latinx heritage allows you to bring a uniqueness to the table!

What are some of your favorite songs that honor your heritage?

Viva Mexico - Pedro Galindo, Somos Mas Americanos – Los Tigres del Notre, Que Bonita Es Mi Tierra – Javier Solis.



Samuel Correa - IT Support Technician

Sam Correa has been with Enlivant full time since May 2020 as an IT Support Technician, and he is incremental in keeping the Enlivant Support Center up and running! 

Sam is known as the Puerto Rican MacGyver, earning the nickname due to his jack of all trades skills and handyman abilities. 

Outside of the office, he is very spiritual and absolutely hiking, skydiving, ziplining, and gardening.


How has your Hispanic/Latinx heritage influenced you?

My heritage has influenced me in so many ways that make me me! I have a love for the Puerto Rican cuisine. I can spend my whole day creating some of our favorite meals such as Arroz con Gandules (Rice with Pigeon Peas), Lechón (Roasted Pork), Alcapurrias (Puerto Rican Dumplings), Pasteles (Puerto Rican Tamales) just to name a few. The language – being able to express myself in my native tongue means so much to me and mine. Having the ability to communicate not only with other Puerto Ricans but with other Latinos as well.

What is one issue facing the Hispanic and Latino communities that you would like to bring awareness to?

Gentrification is something I feel is happening in many Latino communities where we are being pushed out of our homes. Not only here in the United States/Chicago, but on my Island of Puerto Rico. Where people are going in and taking over homes and communities where generations of families have lived, raised their children, and want to see their future generations grow. But when it becomes way too expensive to live in your homeland, you are forced to leave.      

What are some ways you share who you are in the workplace?

Being Latino, I come from a background of unit - a strong family unit with love and support. That translates into my work ethic and how I treat others. Being able to make someone feel like they are welcomed and are important to me comes from my upbringing and culture. 

What is one piece of advice you would like to pass down to future generations?

One thing I would like my future generation to do is be proud of your Latino heritage – become educated in your culture. Fight for your rights and for the rights of others. Never forget where you come from, learn your language, and use it with pride.

What are some of your favorite songs that honor your heritage?

La Borinqueña (National Anthem of Puerto Rico), Preciosa by Marc Anthony and Puerto Rico by Frankie Ruiz.