LAURA JOSEPH • BE ENGAGED IN BAKERSFIELD
Getting engaged in Bakersfield has a few different meanings to Laura. Read her story of how the Bakersfield community rocked her 5-year plan.
Laura Joseph • Adventist Health
I’m happy to say Bakersfield is my new home. I am the administrative director of human resources and employee health at Adventist Health Bakersfield and Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley. I have lived in Bakersfield for only 4 years. I met my husband and got engaged here, and this is where I want to plant roots. I’m originally from Romania, but my family moved to the United States when I was ten years old. We moved all over the country and even lived in Canada for a period of time.
When I first moved here for a position at Adventist Health, I was incredibly lonely. I only knew two people in the entire city, and they were from work. I missed my family and friends. I had a five-year plan to work in Bakersfield, gain experience and move to a more appealing place—or at least a place where I knew more people. However, I started doing things around town, showing up at events and mixers, and my five-year plan changed. I joined a church and met friends. I actually met my husband for the first time at church, and our second meeting was at a friend’s house for lunch. I knew he was going to be there, so I quickly accepted the open invitation. That is where our love story began. Not too long after, he proposed at Lake Ming.
As my husband and I begin to plant family roots in Bakersfield, I have embraced the comfortable, homey atmosphere that encompasses the city. There are many fun things to do and good places to eat, and, if you can’t find something you want, you only need to drive a short distance outside the city to find it.
Now that I have a new family in Bakersfield, my heart has grown to be even more involved. Earlier last year, I joined the North Bakersfield Rotary. I enjoy participating in the city service projects that the rotary organizes and finding different ways to be a blessing to my hometown. More specifically, I look forward to the Thanksgiving event that provides turkey dinners to hundreds of families in need in North Bakersfield. In my short time living here, I have been amazed by Bakersfield’s civic service. We have a strong non-profit presence, lots of outreach opportunities, educational programs for the marginalized and groups that care for the homeless. This is a very caring city, and it’s lead by individuals who want to make a difference. These things get me excited to be engaged in my new hometown.
I’d love for the people of Bakersfield to continue to give back and make this a great place to live. My passion is around community wellness and how we can make the necessary strides to improve physical health through educational programs and services. I’m proud of the work we do at Adventist Health to better individual quality of life. The VIPink event every October gives free mammograms for women. And our children’s immunization programs provide free vaccinations to students so missing school days because of serious illnesses is no longer a worry.
As for newbies to Bakersfield, I would advise them to get engaged as I did. Don’t be a passer-by who just goes to work and then home. More color is added to your life when you get out of the house and get involved.