What is your position with Ellipsis? 

I’m a youth care worker in our supervised apartment living program (SAL).

How long have you worked here?

I’ve worked at Ellipsis for four years.

Have you had any other roles/jobs during your tenure with Ellipsis?

I’ve always worked in this role, but I used to work overnight. Now, I work daytime hours.

What drew you to work at Ellipsis? 

My friend was filling out an application at Ellipsis because he really enjoyed his time at Ellipsis as a youth and wanted to join the organization as a professional. At the time, I worked for a local school district and just had a student enter the system to begin being served by organizations like Ellipsis. I wanted to find out more about what happened to students after we fill out a report at school.

Can you recall a moment (during your career with Ellipsis) when you felt like you were in exactly the right place, doing exactly what you should be doing? What was that like?

The moment I felt like my position in SAL was the perfect spot for me was when I was really struggling with some youth here, and it seemed like I wasn’t making any progress with them. My program director was really engaged and checked in on me regularly. Then, other staff members started to check in on me too, and it really brought us together. I know I’m in this place where no matter my struggles, someone is going to be there to look out for me.

What are some of the more challenging aspects of this job? 

In our program, it can be hard to see youth make the transition from where they came from to understanding where they are able to go. It’s really tough when they don’t see the light that you see within them.

What are some of the rewarding aspects of the job? 

When you see their lightbulb go off, that’s awesome. It’s really rewarding when they start being able to do things on their own; it’s like, “OK, you’ve got it.” I always tell kids that you can’t win today’s games with yesterday’s home runs. You always have to keep moving forward. 

Why is it important to have residential programs in communities and qualified people working in them? 

The kids need to know they have support, and they aren’t alone. Our youth are often wondering why XYZ scenario is happening to them, and when they see other kids going through those same struggles, they realize they aren’t alone.

These kids also need to know that there are people willing to work with them, so when they don’t get it, they aren’t left behind. Sometimes in a school setting, if you don’t understand the assignment being taught, they could move on without you having learned it unless you put in extra effort to stay after school or do extra assignments. Here, we work at kids’ individual pace to teach them life skills. If they don’t get it the first, second or third times, we’re still there to help.

What is a misconception people may have about mental health treatment? How do you dispel that? 

People believe those who deal with mental health problems have a personal issue. In reality, there is always a background story or a reason someone is struggling. There shouldn’t be any shame.

If there’s anything else you’d like to add about your role, please feel free to do so!

I love working here.