Tributes in Memory of Gabriella Hernandez, Family Worker at EarlyLearn Corona
By Lillian Rodriguez-Magliaro, Senior Program Director, EarlyLearn Corona
On April 13, 2020, Gabriella Hernandez passed away, as a result of complications from COVID-19. I had known Gabriella for about seven years, and for the past two years she served as a family worker at the EarlyLearn Corona program, where I was her supervisor. Upon meeting her all those years ago, I immediately noticed Gabriella was an exceptional and loving human being. I knew she would make a great addition to our EarlyLearn team. I admired and respected her for her commitment to clients, her friends, and family.
During good and difficult times, Gabriella never lost her capacity to smile and laugh. She inspired others with her warmth and attentiveness to their situation. Gabriella was relentless and explored all avenues to find resources for children and families she worked with, and she had a fierce dedication to advocacy and working with others to get the job done. A true team player!
Gabriella lived her life with dignity and strength. Her loyalty stemmed from her resilience in the face of adversity. She was a woman of faith who brought peace and comfort to many. Gabriella’s family considers her as someone who never gave up and brought stability and much joy to their lives.
The below tributes were collected from some of the many people who loved and adored Gabriella. They reiterate her empathic spirit and the radiant energy she brought to life. Gabriella will be remembered for her infectious smile and genuine greeting of “Hello, my love” that will resonate in our hearts forever. She will truly be missed!
I want to thank the EarlyLearn Corona staff for sharing their memories of Gabriella. This was truly a collaboration and team effort.
“Gabriella was a very dear friend whom I respected and valued. She was an incredible person who even during difficult times was able to find her joy. Gabriella was the type of person who was always ready to listen. She provided sound advice and guidance. Gabriella loved her job and was passionate about serving others with loyalty. She was a loving mother, friend, and warrior sister. We will miss her dearly.”
—Jessica Jara, Early Head Start Home Visitor
“Gabriella was a beautiful woman, inside and out, and a wonderful friend. Her philosophy was, you show up with a smile no matter what the circumstance. It is one of the greatest lessons that she taught me — this is Gabriella’s legacy.”
—Gabriela Lopez, Family Service Coordinator, EarlyLearn Corona
“Gabriella was our family’s go-to person. My family always joked that she had a cabinet filled with solutions for any situation. Her laughter brought joy into our family. She was a dedicated mother and grandmother. She loved with so much intention. Our family is grateful for the support we have received from the program and agency.”
—Martha Gonzalez, Gabriella’s sister/cousin
“Gabriella was a beautiful soul. She was never as happy as when she was serving others. People loved her because she conveyed an empathy that touched their hearts.”
—Larry Lusky, Gabriella’s fiancé
“Ms. Gabriella was helpful to our family. She worked hard to make sure that my daughter was enrolled in the program. This program has helped my daughter and our family through many difficult times, and Ms. Gabriella always checked in on us to make sure we were doing well.”
—Maria, parent of EarlyLearn student Ariana
“Ms. Gabriella was very dedicated to working with my son and me. When my childcare application was denied, she spoke with the director and together they were able to help my son enroll in the program. It gave me the opportunity to work and keep my son in a safe environment. We miss her.”
—Carmen, parent of EarlyLearn student Gianfranco