Nhung Tran began her career here at Heartspring as a home paraeducator in G4. According to a co-worker who served with Nhung in her first weeks, she was reserved and kept to herself. As the days and weeks pressed on, she became more comfortable, and began incrementally showing the other staff more and more of her personality. Now, three years later, Nhung is anything but reserved.
In May of 2008, after serving as a substitute for a year to acquire her bachelor's degree, Nhung decided to come back full time to serve as a weekend group home paraeducator. She worked often in Group Home 2 as a substitute, and when she chose to come back full time, the Group Home 2 supervisors wanted her on their team. According to Trisha Gorrell, the Home Coordinator in Group Home 2, "Nhung's bubbly personality, positive energy, and dependability" were all great assets to the team. Being energetic is an essential quality for a staff that works in Group Home 2. The children in Group Home 2 are the youngest on campus, and they have boundless energy to prove it. Nhung never had a problem keeping up with them.
Before working at Heartspring, Nhung worked at KETCH (an organization that serves adults with disabilities in Wichita) for almost two years. "I wanted to work with younger individuals," says Nhung, "to see and learn first-hand how they develop and what they are taught as they go into adulthood". Nhung is a consummate teacher, taking great pleasure from the growth of the students she serves. "My favorite experiences are when I see the students I work with learn a new goal and advance on to other goals."
Over the course of her three years of service in Group Home 2, Nhung became an integral part of the team. "She stayed positive and upbeat when interacting with students and co-workers and did exceptionally well during stressful behaviors," says Trisha Gorrell. "Nhung was a great mentor and role model to new staff coming into Group Home 2. She is a natural leader."
In June of 2011, Nhung was promoted to the position of Administrative Assistant for Psychology and school therapy. Her position is unique in that she facilitates the needs of two departments simultaneously. For the Psychology team, she collates all behavioral data and that allows the psychology team to identify trends in the recent behavior patterns of Heartspring students. She performs a similar function for the occupational therapy team, which in turn allows the occupational therapists to chart the progress of Heartspring students in their programs. Both sets of data must be entered in a very accurate, very timely manner. Nhung also performs a multitude of other tasks as needed.
Though they haven't worked with her for very long, Nhung's colleagues already understand her quality as a worker. "Nhung is always friendly and completes work in a timely manner," says occupational therapist Tim Koontz. Kara Gibson, another occupational therapist that works with Nhung had this to say of her work habits: "She is not hesitant to jump right in and help where it is needed. She does not like to leave work unfinished, even if it is at the end of the day and time to leave."
Nhung Tran is proof positive that a career here at Heartspring is what one makes of it. She has worked hard and impressed everyone she meets with the quality of her efforts. For Group Home 2, Nhung's promotion was bittersweet. Shelby Layne, the Assistant Home Coordinator puts it this way, "I miss working with Nhung in the home, but I am so glad that she has the opportunity to take her talents to a new level as an administrative assistant for psychology and occupational therapy. They are very lucky to have such a hard worker that always excels in what she does."