How long have you been at DCCH, what is your position, and what transitions have you had here (if any)?
February of 2022 will be my 20th anniversary at DCCH. My current position is TBS (Therapeutic Behavioral Specialist) working third shift. I have had numerous positions during my tenure/employment at DCCH. I have worked all three shifts as a TBS worker. I was a Case Manager in Foster Care from 2003 to 2005. Since 2006, I have worked in Residential Care including TBS Crisis worker at school and as Case Manager in apartment 2 Front.
What's something people don't know about you?
I ran cross country, track, and played on the basketball team in high school as point guard.
Tell us about family - what's that look like?
I have a brother named Gerry who is 3 years older. My parents live in Jamestown, Tennessee. I have two daughters Angela and Heather. Heather is married and I have a 12-year-old grandson named Myles. I am married to my wife Kim and have two adult stepchildren, Brittany and Michael, who are both married. I value time spent with my friends and family. My faith gives me hope and enables me to stay steadfast in my life’s walk. Kim and I attend Crossroads Community Church where we met in 2004.
What do you love the most about working here?
It’s hard to say what I love most about working here at DCCH. I believe the main reason I have stayed at DCCH is the compassion that’s shown, not only for the children, but also for the staff. In May of 2020, I left my case manager/direct care position due to health issues. DCCH administration communicated how much they valued me as an employee and asked me to stay on in some capacity if possible. I ended up working in the kitchen for four months before returning to direct care. This was a humbling but wonderful experience. It was humbling because I hadn’t worked in food service since working at McDonald’s at age 17. Lisa Cline was kind and patient with me as I learned how to cook and prepare food for many people. Her encouragement enlightened my perspective of the positive affects kindness and patience has on others, no matter their age. Also, the kids were kind with their comments about the food and showed their appreciation when I brought their lunches and dinners to the apartments. Serving the kids in a different role/capacity from direct care was enlightening, gave me a new perspective, and renewed empathy and understanding for the kids we serve at DCCH.
What is your biggest challenge in this job?
The biggest challenge in my current position is self-care, particularly regarding my physical health. Third shift can be very hard on the body especially regarding rest and good sleep. Thus far, I have been able to get good sleep allowing me to come into work rested both physically and mentally. Another challenge is regarding the kids. On third shift, staff’s main interaction with the kids is in the last hour of the shift, from 6am to 7am. I am the first person the kids wake up to and it’s important to present in a pleasant and approachable way, despite how tired I may be. I often remember Cheryl Ross’s quote on her email. It stated: “Kids will not remember what you said to them as much as how you made them feel.” Remembering this quote helps motivate me to be the best I can be when working with kids at DCCH.