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Serina Haders-Gonzalez


WCCDA Narrative Series | Nineteen

JAN 2023

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Evergreen Pool by WCCDA

My name is Serina Haders-Gonzalez, I’m 24 years old and my family has been a resident of White Center for the past 7 or so years. When I’m not binge watching all my comfort movies with my cat, I’m at my crossfit gym, Tilshift; which is also located in White Center, or thinking of the next antique shop to explore. 

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Image by Serina H-G

My mother was born and raised in South Seattle, whereas my father was born and raised in Mexico. I have 3 younger siblings who have gone to several of the schools in this area and I’m currently the manager at the Evergreen Aquatic Center, which is a public nonprofit pool located in and have been here for nearly 10 years. Growing up the oldest of 4 kids, I always felt that having compassion, patience and devotion were the 3 things I needed to have in order to be successful. This could be applied in caring for my siblings, working as an employee or just plainly being a member in society. 

At a young age I knew I not only wanted, but I needed to choose a career path where I could devote my time to helping as many people as I possibly can. In the words of someone who has guided me “Help turn someone else’s negative into a positive.” In high school I went through a program that helped me discover the best fit career for me. It would not only allow me to help my community, but it would allow me to help those who need it more than ever. Working in the fire service is the career path I’m working towards, because having the privilege to be trusted with somebody else's brother or sister is something I wouldn't take lightly. Just as I would hope someone would do for my own brothers and sisters.


One thing I’m really lucky to have in our community is diversity and unity. This community has

had generations upon generations of families with all different walks of life. To be able to see

that around me and in my own family, is uplifting. As someone who has worked directly in White Center for nearly 10 years, our nonprofit has had its ups and downs. As a business that not only works with but also relies on its community, time and time again we have felt the compassion, patience and devotion of its people. As many, if not all businesses know, we’ve had a terrible struggle these past few years and I can say with all certainty our pool would not have remained open through those times without the grants and donations from our very own. In a time of need our White Center and other neighboring communities came together and pulled us from going under. When a community has those qualities, it’s difficult not to like it.

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When asked how I would imagine the future of our community, I always have a hard time answering these sorts of questions because I truly don’t know. There’s so many paths we take that can alter what we want or see for ourselves and others. I can only hope it’s a life that will encourage our children, humble our children and above all, welcome our children. One thing I do wish I could change would be the safety. I think there’s a large problem with gun violence and car accidents and I just wonder if there’s more our community can do to prevent these things.

Image by West Seattle Blog

I can’t think of anything [else to add] aside from the fact that I’ve worked in White Center as a swim instructor and lifeguard since I was 15 years old. I’ve met, connected and established a relationship with a large number of families that have come to our pool. If your student has taken swim lessons before, it’s likely I’ve been the first and last face you’ve seen when stopping by. Every family has left an impression on me and I can only strive to do the same for them.

End of Narrative

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