Prior to working at New Directions, I was teaching English abroad. When I returned to the US, I started looking for a job and got a few hours of tutoring at New Directions. I was impressed by the flexible and optimistic nature of the program, and the “small business” focus. As I remained and the business grew, I came into more responsibility.
What is the focus of your work at NDFYA?
I have had many responsibilities here: starting with tutoring, I moved on to vocational and financial counseling, then doing some administration and scheduling, and even ran some fitness groups and social activities. I spent a long time building up the financial program that we utilize at NDFYA. While working here I attained my Master’s degree in counseling, so my focus currently is therapy and case management, although I still consult with others who conduct the financial counseling.
What’s the best part of your work?
I enjoy seeing clients progress and gain confidence in themselves, especially in areas they initially say they are completely inept.
What’s your most memorable NDFYA experience?
I had a difficult client who had struggled a lot in school, claimed he could never hold a job, and stated he would be unable to drive a car. Over several months, he has had a lot of success in college, was able to gain and hold a job, and got his license, and he will be getting a car soon.
How has NDFYA impacted your life?
Over my years I’ve slowly transitioned from seeing NDFYA as a job to seeing it as a career. I feel I’ve had a significant role in having shaped the business as it grew.
What is your favorite activity outside of the work?
I have a young daughter who is almost 2, so lately I’ve been enjoying taking her out to experience various things. It’s fun to see her developing new skills and abilities so quickly.