Karen Malpica has been on the staff at the Paul Buonfiglio and Sons Funeral Home for four years.
Earlier this year, Malpica became the community outreach coordinator at the well-known funeral home that has been owned and operated by the Buonfiglio family since 1911.
In her new outreach position, Malpica will assist families in the planning of funeral arrangements and also to bring the neighborhood and community together “to not only celebrate the life of someone who has passed, but to celebrate the moment that we are all in now.”
“The funeral arrangement process of having to bury someone you love can all be very devastating,” said Malpica. “My goal as a community outreach coordinator is to be here for families who need assistance and help in any way that I can, especially during such difficult and challenging times.”
Malpica also intends to join local organizations and volunteer in any causes within the city.
“With COVID-19, there are some restrictions,” she said. “However, we’re very hopeful that soon we’ll be able to get out there and be more hands-on and get to know more people through organizations and start to build our relationship in that way,” explained Malpica.
Malpica herself serves as an excellent role model for young women as she symbolizes an inspiring story of being a daughter of immigrants who has worked hard in pursuing a college degree and intends to make an impact in her community.
The daughter of Lidia Calzada and Jose Malpica who came to the United States from Mexico in 1998, Karen Malpica was born in the United States and is fluent in Spanish.
She is currently a senior at Boston University and will receive her degree in Youth Justice with a minor in Human Development.
She is looking forward to meeting residents in her new capacity at Buonfiglio and Sons Funeral Home.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity,” said Malpica. “I’m privileged to be here and work with Paul Buonfiglio and to connect with the community and our neighbors and start to build even more genuine relationships. This is a project that I will continue to work on and I’m looking forward to the next steps in the process of community-building.”
Malpica said she had the honor of meeting Mayor Brian Arrigo in person and hopes to meet other city officials and build relationships that will benefit the city.
A helpful mentor in Paul Buonfiglio
Karen Malpica first met Paul Buonfiglio III, owner and director of the funeral home, close to 15 years ago.
“When I was very young, my mother [Lidia Calzada] was looking to rent an apartment in Revere – we were moving from Brockton,” recalled Karen. “The apartment just so happened to be Paul’s rental property. Ever since we moved to Ambrose Street, Paul has been a part of my life and a very good mentor.”
Karen, who has a younger brother, Miguel Malpica, attended the Abraham Lincoln School and Garfield Middle School. She played basketball and tennis at Revere High School.
“The teachers at Revere High were very friendly and very nice,” said Malpica. “Also guidance counselors, Ms. Tiffany Curry and Ms. Amy Chamberlin (sister-in-law of Paul Buonfiglio III) were very motivational in helping me follow through with my college applications and financial aid information. They were huge assets for me.”
Malpica was enrolled at Wheelock College, a private college in Boston, for one semester when school officials announced that Wheelock would be merging with Boston University.
“We had the choice of transferring to another college or continuing on to Boston University and I made a decision to continue at BU,” said Malpica, who has attained Dean’s List honors at the elite institution. “I’ve attended BU for three years and I’m very excited and looking forward to getting across the finish line in May.”
At this point, due to the pandemic, it is not known whether BU will have an in-person commencement ceremony, but Karen is hopeful.
“It would be amazing for my parents to see me graduate from college,” said Karen. “I’ll actually be the first member of my family to graduate from college. This is the moment that I have been working really hard for and this is the moment that my mom would love to see and I would love to experience it, so I’m hoping we’re able to have some sort of ceremony or celebration. I have faith that something will get done.”