Meet Your Neighbor: Cesar Peña

“I left Guatemala for New York City when I was 35 years old. My wife, two daughters and I moved into the Forest Hills Co-op, and I started washing dishes at a local bakery.

“Even though I never went to baking school, the owner promoted me to baker. I learned a lot about making pastries and large cakes.  After that, I spent 23 years making French pastries and desserts at Tavern on the Green. I had to work hard to support my family; it wasn’t always easy with five kids.

“QCH has always supported me and my family. When my three grandsons came to live with me, we sent them to the After School Program. Three young boys were a handful for us, so we were happy they loved the program.

“When I retired, I applied to work at QCH.  I am now a driver at QCH’s Pomonok site in Flushing. I drive seniors to and from the center, and it brings me so much joy. When they see me in the morning, they hug me to say hello.

“I don’t have to drive the van, but I do it to help my community and to give back. I just love people and helping senior citizens. No matter what the religion, race, gender, I don’t care. I love to help all people.

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