A life of service may have been predestined for Public Affairs Officer Alfredo “Freddy” Lee, who comes from a long lineage of community service-oriented family members who have selected careers helping those in need medically, educationally and spiritually.

“My grandmother was a nurse and then later a professor in Mexico, my father is a pastor, and my sister is a teacher,” said Lee. “From my family, I have learned the importance of commitment and service to our community and I’m grateful for an opportunity to do work where I can contribute my skills and talents to helping rectify years of inequity.”

“My family has always instilled in me the importance of giving back to our community and I can’t imagine having a career that doesn’t serve a higher purpose.”

Lee says he feels fortunate that his circle of care growing up helped him to discover and develop his talents and gifts over the years. That’s why he believes it’s his mission now to do the same for others.

“It’s exciting to see people realize their potential and find their voice and to be part of the process that is making that happen,” Lee said. “It’s so fulfilling and one of the best things that I like about the work that I do with Best Start.”

“It’s exciting to see people realize their potential and find their voice and to be part of the process that is making that happen,” Lee said. “It’s so fulfilling and one of the best things that I like about the work that I do with Best Start.”

In his day-to-day position, Lee spends time working with teams to develop and execute communication plans and communication capacity for Best Start, First 5 LA’s place-based funding efforts in 14 communities throughout Los Angeles County. Lee works in the Best Start communities of Metro L.A., Long Beach, Southeast L.A., East L.A., Wilmington and El Monte/South El Monte.

“I think, as a leader, you have to take accountability for the health and well-being of your team, so I do what I can to make sure folks are doing good work, and we resolve conflicts in a quick, respectful manner,” said Lee. “I like being able to blend my skills in community organizing, communications and facilitation to help create new solutions.”

Lee is described by colleagues as a well-rounded man of many interests and talents. From making pottery and cooking, to speaking Spanish and Italian, Lee is known around the office to bring a strong sense of enthusiasm, creativity and cultural sensitivity to his position.

“Freddy has taught me so much about the nuances of social change movements,” said Best Start Marketing Manager Katie Kurutz. “He approaches the most challenging issues with an open and respectful attitude, making space for positive and supported dialogue. He is also a fabulous strategic thinker which is critical in our Best Start work. Personally, he’s a funny guy, with witty quips that make the day lighter.”

Lee says he’s proud of what he does for a living, and that one of the best things about working at First 5 LA is his coworkers.

“The people here are great, and so smart and focused,” said Lee. “There is no other agency or foundation like this in L.A. County and we have a unique role in helping children and families. We are working hard to develop a good foundation for long-term changes,” he continued.

Born in Mexico and raised in West Covina, Lee attended La Sierra University and received a bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing. As a Public Affairs Officer, he says leading a variety of teams and managing contractors can be challenging at times but, ultimately, very rewarding.

“I like to think that I am working somewhere where my gifts are being used to help us evolve as a society,” he said. “The work First 5 LA is re-teaching what other cultures have already known: Our children are the most important investment for a healthy, vibrant future. A wise friend of mine said we must pass through our own internal revolutions in order to be a powerful change in the world.”

Lee is excited to now pass on what he’s learned through all of his family’s influences, and the work he has experienced over the last four years at First 5 LA, down to the next generation: his 3-year-old brother Jonathan.

“Here at First 5 LA, I’ve learned just how important it is to nurture and surround a child with love, encouragement and help develop their social and emotional skills,” Lee said. “I am committed to doing just that for my little brother, as was done for me, and I just want that for all children. That’s why I’m so driven to make a difference in the lives of others.”




Translate