Sandra Rendon Williams: A Life Devoted to Helping Latinos

By admin July 26, 2013 17:18

Sandra Rendon 1 By Ruben Hernandez

When Sandra Rendon-Williams took a position with Alcock and Associates Law Firm in Phoenix almost eight years ago, she expected to work hard but was a bit surprised when her boss sat her down and asked what would truly make her happy, what was her dream.

Sandra’s answered immediately was: “One of my dreams is to help people,” she said. So the company opened a charitable foundation and began working on a project in Colombia. “They gave me a project to help people in my little town (Rio Negro near Medellín). We have being able to give food to many people and help nurture their dreams. We have adopted three families with kids and helped them with housing. I’m so thankful for being able to help these people and I’m very blessed for being able to work in this company.”

From that humanitarian effort, Sandra expanded the John P. Alcock Foundation’s (named after the law firm founder’s grandfather) focusing to helping Latino families in the Valley. About a year and a half ago, the foundation’s  and firm’s owner Nicholas Alcock and Sandra had a great idea to do a television show titled Corazon Hispano on Univision and Telemundo that informed their audiences about the foundation’s philanthropic contributions to the Latino community. Sandra says she is proud to be the law firm’s spokesperson on local Spanish-language television.

Sandra Rendon 2Alcock and Associates’ foundation donate food, clothing and shelter to hundreds of needy families locally, and have rebuilt communities in Latin America. The firm has partnered with local business and charitable nonprofits, and firm owner Nicholas Alcock has sponsored a medical mission to Nicaragua in which plastic surgeons operate to help physical defects of that country’s natives.

“My thinking was, why not show what we have done with the foundation through the years and at the same time give us the opportunity to help more people here in Phoenix,” she recalled. “The main points of the show are helping our community and also show that we Latinos are good people.”

Sandra and the foundation have even helped families in Puerto Peñasco Sonora, Mexico. The foundation contributes to the children in an orphanage in that Mexican seaport town. Sandra travels south of the border to represent the foundation to the Mexican people.

“These are things we do in our spare time, early mornings and on weekends. We still have to do our work for the law firm too,” she says.

Sandra attributes her motivation to help others to her support by her parents in Colombia, and later in Tucson the support of her brother and his circle of “amigos”.

“I was born in Rio Negro, near Medellín, to a very loving and believing family. That is one of the fundamental key for your success and accomplishments later on in life,” Sandra says. “They are a very hard-working people, and that trait also helped me a lot. We, as Latin people have that definite advantage of being hard-working people. We follow our dreams. I think we are very brave people who are very happy with very little. That has helped me during my own career.”

Coming to the United States was not her own plan for her life, she shares. Her family sent her to live in Tucson in 2000 during Colombia’s violent time of battling major international drug traffickers.

“There was a lot of violence going on and they (her family) just wanted to protect me. I had my own plan, which was to be an attorney in Colombia and marry my long-time boyfriend. But I had to come here, and follow God’s plans which are way bigger than your own. I didn’t understand English at all. It was very hard. I couldn’t even go to McDonald’s and buy a hamburger.”

 Sandra relates that her brother in Tucson supported her emotionally, and he and his friends helped her to adapt to U.S. life. “I am so thankful of them for what they did for me,” she says of her early supporters. 

She moved to Phoenix over eight years ago and joined the law firm of Alcock and Associates, which specialized in criminal defense and immigration. She decided that taking a position with an elite law firm would not erase her Latino cultural beliefs.

 “When I joined the firm, I didn’t want to lose my Latino roots, and this firm helps the community by trying to protect people anyway,” she says.

Doing the kinds of high intensity work she does for the firm and the foundation takes a lot of hours and can be stressful. So how does Sandra Rendon-Williams chill out?

“I do my show. That’s one way I relax. I visit with the families we help. I do enjoy that a lot; going to Rocky Point. I have fun while I’m working. That’s how I enjoy life.” Sandra Rendon 3

She adds, “I do a little bit of yoga. And I run a lot. I have to run.”

Sandra says she has a favorite saying that she remembers when things get tough.

“The best person is not the one that never makes mistakes, but the one that never gives up,” she says. “God has been so good to me. I am so blessed. Ultimately Everything that has happened to me and everything I am I owe it to God.”

By admin July 26, 2013 17:18

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