Sheryl Blessing, Eastside Community Center Assistant Supervisor
A “fun fact” Sheryl eagerly shares about her background is that she became a U.S. citizen at age 10 when she was sworn in by the late Sen. Daniel Inouye in an impromptu ceremony in his Honolulu, Hawaii, office.
Sheryl, 39, a Tagalog speaker, was born in the Philippine capital, Manila. When she was 9, she moved to Hawaii where she was adopted by relatives. She, her husband Jason, and college-age son Michael live on the Eastside, where Jason grew up and Sheryl has worked for more than a dozen years. Five years ago, she joined the staff of Portland Avenue Community Center. In April, she was promoted to assistant center supervisor.
“I love meeting the people who come here,” she said. “I get to know a lot of them by name.”
She’s proud of her chosen neighborhood. “The Eastside is a robust community full of amazing, vibrant cultures and so many personalities,” she said. “The diversity makes this a great melting pot.”
Because the new Eastside Community Center is located on a school campus and incorporates features young people yearned for – a gym, a pool and a sound recording studio – it will be a hub of activity from the get-go.
“My goal and my hope is that people feel welcome and feel a sense of family,” she said. “You have a sense of ownership when you feel that you belong somewhere. You have a sense of pride, you protect it and you take care of it.”
In addition to her work for Metro Parks, Sheryl is part-time youth minister at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Church in Parkland, paddles twice weekly with the Tacoma Dragon Boat Association and takes weekly traditional Hula lessons. She also volunteers at Holy Rosary Church, where she attends Mass.