When I started working in G3, it was an all-girls home. This by far was the hardest, yet most fulfilling job I have had in my nine years at Heartspring. Prior to Heartspring, I had been working at a bank, when I realized I was a year from graduating with my bachelors in psychology with no experience. My parents were both teachers and I knew I wanted to work with children, but I just wasn’t sure how. I heard about Heartspring through a graduate student assistant who worked here while we were doing research for a class. I checked it out and decided to take a very big step by quitting my job at the bank. I went through training and started working the weekend shift.
About six months into my job at Heartspring, G3 and the rest of the group homes were rearranged and I moved to G5. I was scared to death working with “big boys.” This push out of my comfort zone allowed me to be where I am today. When I saw my first student graduate from Heartspring, I knew that this was no longer a job; it was going to be my career. I was promoted to a lead paraeducator in G5 and continued in that position until an opening came up as a behavior specialist. Shortly after accepting the behavioral specialist position, I knew I wanted to go back to school. Working with Dr. Wayne, Dr. Purvis, and Pam gave me great role models and professional inspirations.
Then, I decided I wanted to be a school psychologist. This would allow me to work at Heartspring and follow in my parents' footsteps of working with children. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. After two years of working full time at Heartspring, going to graduate school full time, and working part-time at the American Red Cross, teaching CPR/first aid, I received my masters in educational psychology. After that, I quickly initiated the last leg of my school psychology journey. After five years and 60 hours of graduate school work, I graduated in January 2011 with my specialist degree in school psychology.
Although I worked very hard to get to where I am in my education and career, I have the BEST support system I could ever ask for. I have continuously had great co-workers who gave me a hand when I was drowning, a loving husband who gave me a hug when I needed one, a step-son who constantly challenged me to be a good role model, and last but not least, a dad who always showed me what hard work entailed.