Mayor Brian Arrigo announced that June 2022’s Public Servant of the Month is Paula Sepulveda. Paula has worked in the Revere Department of Public Health since 2020, where she administered vaccination clinics and worked to help our residents throughout the pandemic. A Shirley Avenue resident for more than 10 years, Paula is raising her son, Enzo, in Revere. Paula is an incredible asset to the residents of Revere who goes above and beyond her duties to help her community, making her a clear choice for June’s Public Servant of the Month.
Q: What do you do? What was your career prior to City Hall?
A: I am the Administrative Assistant for Health and Human Services, where I work with the Director of Public Health to help coordinate and administer vaccination clinics and other events in the City of Revere. I also work as a clerk for both the Board of Health and the Human Rights Commission. Before working at Revere City Hall, I worked at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center where I was a care coordinator for kids with disabilities.
Q: What does Revere mean to you?
A: I always joke that Revere chose me, I didn’t choose Revere. My parents immigrated to the United States when I was 8 years old – we started living in East Boston and eventually made it to Revere. I’ve been living on Shirley Ave. since I was 14, and Shirley Ave. will always be home to me. My son goes to the Revere Public Schools and I’m happy to say Revere is where I’m going to stay!
Q: What was it like working in the public health sector during the pandemic?
A: It’s strange – I started this job in the middle of the pandemic, so it almost feels like a blur. Coming from East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, I was just going from one public health space to another. In a lot of ways, I feel like I was privileged to be able to leave the home and work – but sometimes I was so involved in my work that I forgot what was really happening around me. At the time, there was this adrenaline rush among those in the public health sector – especially at the very start of the pandemic. Sometimes it was hard to really take it all in and understand the weight of what we were experiencing.
Q: At the peak of the pandemic, what did your weeks look like?
A: Probably the hardest point personally for me during the pandemic was the start of vaccination clinics. All of a sudden, thousands of residents were eligible for the vaccine, and it really came down to us to make a decision on where to host these clinics and how to make it as streamlined as possible. It was a lot of work – working through the weekends and coordinating all the appointments. But what I love the most about this job is that there is not one day that’s the same – every day we’re faced with a new challenge and there really couldn’t be a job description for what we do. We just love what we do and do everything we can to help the community.
Q: What does public service mean to you?
A: Public service is a natural human experience – we see people in need, and we help them. It’s what you do because you love it and enjoy it, not just because it’s your job. Before working at City Hall, I had never stepped into the building, as bad as that sounds. There was a huge separation between the community I lived in (Shirley Ave.) and City Hall for years, but a lot of that has changed in recent years. I almost wish I felt a connection to it sooner. What I hope to teach my son and others in the community is that it’s never too late to get involved and make a difference, and getting involved locally is one of the best ways to create change in your community.