Lucy de la Espriella

What was your high school mascot?

We didn’t have a mascot. I went to high school in Barranquilla, Colombia. Although we didn’t have organized sports teams with mascots like here in the States, I was active in basketball, tennis, volleyball, baseball, and other sports. We had classes in ceramics, sewing, and handcrafts as well as our regular curriculum.

What’s your connection to Bradenton?

A friend of mine had moved here and when I came for vacation to visit her, I met my husband. For a while, I travelled back and forth, we were married in Colombia, and since he had a job with Champs Sports, I moved here. I couldn’t believe how friendly snd polite everyone was in this little town. I live in St. Petersburg now to be closer to work but I love Bradenton, if I could, I would live here in a heartbeat.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a doctor. I was always fascinated about the human body and I used to enjoy making the anatomical drawings we did in school - seeing how everything connected. After high school, I started on the track to medical school and learned that the reality of this field is not what I really wanted in life. Thank goodness I realized that before investing so much time and money into becoming a doctor!

What did you do when you grew up?

I am in human resources and I really enjoy interacting with people and feeling helpful. What I do right now, I am very passionate about it. I am a balance between the rules and the employees. A person may have a crisis or problem and I help make complying with the rules easier so the employee doesn’t have to struggle to balance work and family.

How did you get started volunteering with Realize Bradenton?

My passion is music. I was volunteering for another Blues Festival when I learned about how Realize Bradenton hosts the Blues Festival. I thought: “What could I do with my free time that I can enjoy? This is perfect!” I have always loved the blues and had the opportunity to organize a concert during one of Okinawa-based David Ralston’s visits to the US. I did everything - invitation cards, décor and lighting, food, drinks - and we hosted it at our house. That experience showed me that I can do this! I can do something fun that is for a good cause as well. So when I was contacted to volunteer with the Bradenton Blues Fest, I was very excited.

What RB events have you enjoyed?

I helped out at both the 2015 and 2016 Blues Festivals and had a great time.

Where else do you volunteer?

When I lived in Bradenton I volunteered at the St. Joseph Catholic Church food pantry providing meals and bags of groceries to families who did not have enough food.

What do you love to do so much that you lose track of time while you’re doing it?

Listening to music, I enjoy that A LOT. Wherever I go I like to listen to music that makes me feel good inside.

Name a few of your favorite places in downtown Bradenton.

I really love Riverwalk where Blues Fest is held. I used to walk the Riverwalk before and hang out around the old theatre after work but I like it so much better now. Such a unique area, so charming.

Batman or Superman?

I like Batman because he’s scarier. You don’t see his goodness on the outside. You would think he’s a bad guy but there’s more to him. You have to know the person. Life is like that.