What do you do?
Tracie Van Buskirk

Where do you work and what is your title?
       I work at the Westside Community Center. I am the site supervisor for Golden Circles Nutrition program, a senior meal program through Colorado Springs Housing Authority.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
       The meals are delivered prepared, so I set up the dining room and make sure the area and meals meet all health department requirements for sanitation and food temperature. But I really think I am there to make sure the seniors enjoy themselves.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
       I have been with the Westside Center for a year and eight months, but have been doing the senior meals for seven months. When I was 7, we moved to Holland Park because my mom transferred to Billie Spielman, I spent my days off from school there. Back then they had the senior meals program. I also went to West Junior High School and had friends that lived on the Westside, and still do. I have always stayed close too. I just like this part of town.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
       I really enjoy visiting with the people who come into the center, especially the seniors. Our lunch group has become a family. It is great because no matter what is going on any place else, we have a nice time at lunch.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
       I would welcome new faces to our group. It is a wonderful place to socialize. Anyone 60 and over is welcome.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
       That the real wisdom comes from those with life experience. I always knew this, but the seniors on the Westside seem to see the best in everybody and everything. They all worked hard to make sure that people knew the center was still here and have invited new people. They understand the importance of community.
What makes working on the Westside special?
       The people make the Westside. The Westside is not so hectic and run, run. People take the time to visit and get to know you. It is just homier here. Some of my seniors are native Westsiders, and some went to school in the building where the center resides. That says a lot in itself. I am a native of Colorado, and in no other area of the Springs do I meet more natives than on the Westside.

“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.