Even though I don’t work for LA’s BEST anymore, when I need to figure something out, there’s always someone there I can ask for guidance. You can never leave LA’s BEST. It’s like it runs through your veins!
I started working for LA’s BEST in 2002 after I had my second child. I could both be a stay-at-home mom and work part time. It kept me balanced, and I was able to keep growing and developing.
All of my professional growth happened while working for 12 years at LA’s BEST. I was mentored by an amazing leader, which really challenged me. And I received many resources and training. The LA’s BEST team made me believe that I could make a difference in the lives of children, even though I was working part time.
I was a Program Coach for 4 years. I was really connected to the staff and I did my best to support them, ensure that they felt valued, appreciated and supported. I had the most personal growth in this position. Then, I became a Traveling Program Supervisor right around our major expansion. I assisted in opening 13 new LA’s BEST sites, if not more. Before the expansion, the entire organization fit sitting at one conference table! It’s unbelievable how fast we grew. It was an exciting time, we were branching out to more families who needed their children to be safe afterschool.
The LA’s BEST family was there for me when I suffered a tragic death in my family. I felt so supported and loved. I never imagined myself leaving, but I needed full-time work. I cried for days just at the thought of leaving my staff. But, I became a case manager at a domestic violence center and am now in a leadership position.
I apply many lessons learned from LA’s BEST at my job now. LA’s BEST taught me everything from facilitation to how to provide training to the importance of setting norms of interactions. I learned the importance of considering everyone’s perspective and making sure everyone’s needs are met. Tackling the day-to-day challenges at the sites and navigating through such difficult situations taught me to think critically and quickly. Two of my staff now are former LA’s BEST staff!
My daughter works for LA’s BEST now! This is her first job, too, and I told her LA’s BEST is the best place to develop a strong work ethic. She used to come home and share her stories with me, which made me feel so proud and connected to our community. Now, because of COVID-19, she really misses her students. There are a lot of programs out there but none of them care for and support children like LA’s BEST.