After 18 years of tireless devotion to Don Bosco’s mission, Hector Payan is stepping down from his key position as Unit Director of the Salesian Family Youth Center. His dedication and care for the youth of Boyle Heights reached unparalleled heights and has set countless young people on a path of personal greatness and spiritual strength. Though setbacks and daily struggles arise in the Club’s mission to the poorest young people, Hector was able to remain completely focused on Don Bosco’s call to love and service.
Overseeing a clubhouse is no easy task. Issues surrounding staff, facilities, programs, and leadership groups normally take up a person’s entire workday. At a moment’s notice, Hector would hold a car wash, clean bathrooms, take out the trash, collect bottles, host giant basketball tournaments; all because it helped kids. Hector’s dedication and love for the kids went well beyond his duties.
The conclusion of Hector’s tenure at the Club is bittersweet, considering the huge void of his loving presence and his desire for personal growth. Hector has set personal goals of developing a small business, focusing on his health, and working toward a more secure financial future. While Hector’s dedication to Don Bosco’s mission cannot be matched, the Club applauds his decision to take better care of his personal life as a witness to the young. Hector’s decision is about dignity.
Don Bosco would certainly be proud of Hector’s tireless dedication to the young entrusted to his care. We have much to learn from Hector about being a true apostle of Don Bosco and maybe this Lent is a good time for all of us to REALLY begin that deep journey of reaching out to those in need.