Thirty years ago this month, a young man began his own personal quest for the American Dream. Married, with two young children, and $122 in his pocket, Nandor Bank arrived from Hungary to make a home, a future, and a family legacy. He succeeded beyond all expectations. Easily finding employment because of his trade school training and personal skills; he immediately began work as a wall paper and dry-wall hanger. A church friend introduced him to Atherton and he accepted the opportunity to work on a three-month project. That was 28 years ago. In those days, much of Atherton was low-income, government housing; so the employees received very modest wages. Nandor knew no English; yet he found acceptance and appreciation as a key part of the maintenance department.
For 11 years, Nandor and his family lived on-campus in our staff housing, and in 2010, they were able to move into their own comfortable home. Ten years after arriving in America, Nandor became a citizen; and he is proud of his family’s military service to our country. Now he looks forward to monthly visits to Phoenix to see his three granddaughters and to enjoy fishing with his family. Nandor has realized the American Dream because of his own solid character, faith in God, and consistent work ethic. It is also because of Atherton’s steadfast commitment to growth and its respect for each employee as an individual. More than once, Nandor has been recognized as Atherton’s Employee of the Year, and he often receives notes of praise and recognition from grateful residents for his willingness to go above and beyond to listen and help. “Some residents”, he says, “need talking. I like helping residents feel better. Outside of here it is noisy and rough. But inside the community, things are smooth, peaceful…. Just about everyone is happy.”
“Come in and look around. Alhambra is busy, but when you come here it is cool and quiet. This is a nice Christian place.” Yes, and as Nandor demonstrates, it is also a place where dreams do come true.