Alton’s Community Services Director shares an insight into his experience as the recreation director. Samm Mercado, is in charge of Alton’s Parks, youth programs, special projects for the city, and Alton’s recreation department.

For five years he was only in charge of coordinating special projects, then he was promoted and hired to become Alton’s community services director and has been working as a director for 4 years.

“I grew up in the city of Alton in the 60s and 70s and attended San Martin De Porres elementary. It is a joy to work for my community and I hope to provide my services for many years to come because it is an honor,” he said.

As Alton’s Recreation Director, Mercado has seen his community providing continual service to the people. Volunteers are always sought for the events are usually from 14-year-olds to adults.

“Volunteers are vital since they are the key element for the programs to be successful,” he said. 

According to Director Mercado, department and other organizations also give their fair share to help in the programs. These include the Police, Public Works, and Firefighters’ departments. All of them work together to make the programs successful. None of them are obligated to provide their services, but all of them volunteer to help their community with sincerity.

“I am in charge of notifying the different departments of the events that will be held to receive help,” he said.

Mercado feels that the greatest accomplishment that the City of Alton has created is the strong unity of its own community where mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, grandparents, and children are able to interact with each other and have fun while they also meet their elected officials.

“I usually hear the comments and generally they comment on how nice Alton has been for hosting the events for the public. This is exactly what I personally expect to accomplish as a team, with the other departments, and with my department as well. I just hope that the community is able to enjoy all the events provided for them,” he said.

Everything has a beginning and a finish point; a rule of life that never seems to end. They have names, of course, we know them as life and death. Humans and every other living organism take such cycle and as for me, well, I am not different. A cell, that was my beginning or the point where my existence was marked in the world. I was a morphosis that gradually took form as a human being. The city of Mexico was my birth place in December of the year two-thousand although I don’t have any memories of such a place, I hope one day I can actually visit my  beautiful city, so I may be able to learn from where I can from and know the real roots of my culture. Mother gave the named me “Abril” or April that’s what some people call me at least. My naming has no special reason, however it derives from the latin word Aprillis with a significance referring “to open.” Something about the meaning peaks my interest, it makes me want to own my name proud and high, to become something like my name( open to different ideas and opportunities). To blossom, to grow in life, almost like a lush spring. Life is too short for me, as I am young I don’t have the greatest story or the most interesting life, believe me, nor do I know where my life will lead me. I have goals but not straight ones, I don’t know if one day I’ll reach them, or the turns and curves of my life but for now its alright, sooner or later I will find out. Ambitions are fulfilling but I never had one, maybe what I seek is not ambition but understanding.

4 replies on “Alton’s Recreation Director shares his experience of working for his community”