Rosa Alvarado is the Executive Director for Social Transportation for Seniors.

“When IDF Flight Attendant Rosa Alvarado is not helping passengers inflight, she’s helping passengers on the ground via a service called Social Transportation for Seniors (STS), a nonprofit organization designed to deliver senior citizens to social appointments.

A few years ago, a subcommittee of a United Way initiative began a service to help isolated seniors get to social destinations such as the senior center, the library, the grocery store or the bank in the city of North Richland Hills, TX. Partnering with
the city, STS was created and soon became a nonprofit organization.

Rosa learned of the service when her mother needed a ride, and began helping to schedule the drivers for pickup and drop-off. “It fills a huge need in the community,” says Rosa. Rosa now serves as the volunteer executive director for STS, recruiting and scheduling drivers, sometimes even doing the driving herself. She’s the heart and soul of the service,” says Faye Beaulieu, regional director of United Way Northeast in Tarrant County.

Rosa, who has a master’s degree in social work, says getting seniors out of isolation and into the community is critical to their wellness. She tells of one senior who, prior to hearing about STS, was paying a taxi service $40 twice a week for a ride to visit his wife in an Alzheimer’s care center. Rosa’s community appreciates her commitment and dedication. In 2011 she was named a Northeast Tarrant Chamber Hometown Hero for her work with older adults. “I’ve been blessed with health, education and a great job, so I feel I must give back. To know that I’m helping others is the best reward.”

“STS is a 100% grassroots organization and volunteers are the pulse of this much needed service,” says Rosa. “They are to be commended and applauded for their commitment and dedication to helping seniors get reconnected back into the community and out of isolation.”