One of Youth In Need’s greatest strengths is its staff! There isn’t a more committed, compassionate and caring group of people who truly live an organization’s mission. Whether it’s front-line service staff working with children, youth and families daily, or administrative staff supporting that important work, everyone at Youth In Need is working together with a common goal in mind: To build on the strengths of children, youth and families so they find safety, hope and success in life.
Youth In Need is extremely lucky to have long-tenured staff. It seems that when people join the Youth In Need family, they stay. So, we started thinking about what makes our stellar staff stay at Youth In Need. Why do they work here?
What better way to find out than to ask them. Staff have been sharing their stories and "selfies" with us. Take a look, and learn a little bit more about the heart of Youth In Need.
Why I Work at Youth In Need
“I have been with Youth In Need for seven and a half years. I started out as a Teacher at the Kingshighway Head Start location. I started working two months before my wedding. Little did I know that my life was forever changing. I realized that I was working for an amazing company that truly cared for children and staff. I realized that real people still existed that had a true passion for others and motivated all parents to achieve at high levels, no matter their past experiences in life. As I went through my journey at Youth In Need, I realized that I was also able to share my life-changing, fun, emotional and sad events with people that cared about me and my well being. I really enjoy the challenges, but the most rewarding experiences are the parents that come and visit us with nothing but praise and gratitude for the services we provided their entire family. It's moments like this that makes me feel good knowing I made a difference in the lives of people.”
“Growing up in the environment I did, experiencing the circumstances my family and I faced...we didn't have a voice and if even we did, it wouldn't have been heard. My parents were divorced, and my father had schizophrenia. My mom raised two kids by herself. We were very poor, even though my mom worked a full-time job. We lived in the half of a story and a half, with a space heater to keep us warm, 20 steps to our door and one bedroom that my mom, brother and I shared. Once, when I was 12, the police took my dad away in a patrol car because he was hallucinating and thought someone was after him and me. He said had a gun. I went to school the next day and didn’t tell anyone what happened. Today, I know that if I was afraid and ashamed to talk, to tell…that there are so many other young people who are going through tough times and are afraid or ashamed like I was. Our stories are different, but the feelings we have are very similar.
Advocating for myself, for others and empowering young people and their parents to advocate for themselves is what I have done since finding my voice many years ago. Overcoming adversity, being the first in my family to graduate from college with my master’s and bachelor’s degrees, and life experience has helped me find my voice over time. My work at Youth In Need is very important to me. I can use what I have learned and experienced to help young people find their voices, too.”