For this week’s spotlight, we are proud to introduce Oasis member and volunteer, Carlos M. Arias. Carlos has been taking classes at Oasis for 32 years. His very first class was a Sing Along of the Classics. Carlos was working full time back then and would come to Oasis on his lunch hour to sing songs. He says it helped him to release stress and tension so he could go back to work “humming” tunes the rest of the day. In 1989, Carlos also began volunteering and later began teaching advanced conversational Spanish classes to Oasis members, subsequently becoming a wonderful ambassador, doing interviews promoting Oasis on Univision TV and Radio. He also contributed his architectural skills by doing some mapping graphics for our catalogs. Born on Valentine’s Day and being referred to as a “love child”, Carlos grew up in Mexico City learning foreign languages (French, Italian, German and English) in addition to his native Spanish language, graduating as an Architect-Urban Planner with Magna Cum Laude from the Universidad National Automa de Mexico, one of the oldest universities in the Americas. He expanded his education at the Sorbornne in Paris, ultimately traveling through multiple countries in Europe and finally doing graduate work in Business Administration at the University of Arizona. Starting his career in his native Mexico City, he later joined General Planning and Resource Consultants in St. Louis, Missouri where he met his lovely wife, Claire.
Recently, Carlos has been working as a volunteer at the front desk in order to assist our Spanish speaking members. This is particularly important now that the new Cox Tech Tank–located in the Learning Center lobby—offers one-on-one technology training in Spanish! When asked about this new service, Carlos reported that he was excited to be able to serve the Spanish-speaking population at Oasis. He feels strongly that Oasis provides inspiration for people of all backgrounds to age in a positive way with the warm friendship of staff, other volunteers and diversity of members. Carlos is a beloved supporter of Oasis and has contributed to our mission to promote lifelong learning for the incredibly diverse senior population of San Diego. “Oasis helped me to get back to myself!”