A former supervisor once told me that, “Making and keeping positive relationships is one of the most important things you can do in your career. New Hampshire is such a small state that the person sitting next to you at a meeting, may one day be your supervisor or someone you supervise.” This is some of the best advice I have ever received, as it has come true on more than one occasion.
Why did you choose your profession?
I knew from a young age that I wanted to work with children. In high school I started learning more about social work and knew I wanted to be in a helping profession. What attracted me was the variety of jobs I could obtain with a social work degree and it seemed like it would be rewarding and challenging. Boy was I right! My internship at a Head Start while at UNH furthered my interest in helping children, and helped me learn about the foster care system. At that point I knew that was the area I wanted to focus on. I started in the child protection field 14 years ago. For the past 11 years, I have worked for a private agency that provides intensive level home based and foster care services. My role has changed from front line work to management, but I still love what I do, and don’t consider it a job, it’s a calling!
What motivates you to give back to your community?
I am most motivated by my daughters. I want them to grow up in healthy thriving communities. I want them to see that as a community, we have a culture of taking care of each other, no matter what. We all need someone we can count on … be that person to someone in need. One simple act of kindness could truly be life changing.
What advice would you give your 22-year-old self?
I would tell myself to be prepared to learn and grow from every experience, both the positive and negative ones. At age 22, I had just graduated from college and was working for the Division for Children, Youth and Families as a child protection service worker. At the time, I knew I had a lot to learn, but working in the child protection field opened my eyes to the challenges that people face, including poverty, addiction and mental illness. It also opened my eyes to the amazing resiliency that both children and parents have. Though the media tends to focus on the negative stories, there are so many wonderful success stories of parents who overcame their challenges, of amazing foster parents supporting those families along the way, of lifelong relationships being made, and of dedicated child protection and agency workers who are instrumental in helping families succeed.
What was your last major achievement?
Witnessing the long awaited adoption of a 15-year-old and her younger sister.
What's in the photo?
"Every kid is ONE caring adult away from being a success story." - Josh Shipp
Volunteer activities: Providing support to families impacted by Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, providing support to families impacted by Russell Silver Syndrome.