37, Youth Program Specialist with Hampton Roads Workforce Council, Norfolk
Youth Partnership of South Hampton Roads; Hampton Roads Community Action Program Policy Council; Cerebral Palsy Foundation; Kelly’s Choice Cares; Grace Tabernacle Church
What is something that makes you stand out professionally?
The relationships I build with my youth make me stand out. I am able to communicate effectively and get them to understand the importance of goals they have set for themselves. The youth in our programs know that they have me by their side as a coach and mentor to help them grow not only professionally but personally as well. I’ve been in their shoes and understand what they are going through.
Who or what keeps you motivated or inspires you?
Youth motivates me, whether they are family or youth I have worked with before. I always had a mentor while I was growing up, and I believe mentorship is important. Being able to give back what has been instilled in me and sharing my experience keep me going.
Tell us about an accomplishment that you’re proud of.
I am proud that I have implemented self-care into every aspect of my life. I am learning not to be such a workaholic. My planner is filled with lists of self-care activities (personal, professional and spiritual) that I do each week, month, quarter and year.
How do you feel your industry can best respond to the effects of COVID-19?
COVID-19 has allowed us in workforce development to be a little more creative in how we work with employers and job seekers. Having the ability to host a virtual hiring event and professional and personal development workshops will allow us to reach more people and connect more employers to job seekers.
What new idea or development are you excited about in Coastal Virginia?
I’m excited about the various initiatives that are in place and being developed to help bridge the workforce gap and provide young men and women with opportunities to learn about apprenticeships and the skilled trades.
What’s the most important aspect you look for in a workplace?
The opportunity to learn. There is always time to learn something new and having the opportunity to grow professionally and expand my knowledge is key.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in your current position?
If I weren’t in my current position, I would be a full-time writer. I love writing and have been blogging for over 10 years. Most of my free time is spent writing about food, books and living life with cerebral palsy.
What’s your favorite spot to relax in Coastal Virginia?
The beach. Whether it is taking a walk along the water or just sitting in the sand, the beach is peaceful and tranquil. It’s my happy place.