What is your position with Ellipsis? 

I’m a youth care worker.

How long have you worked here?

I’ve worked here for 20 years.

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

I did tracking for some time and medical scheduling for 17 years.

What drew you to work at Ellipsis? 

I knew I would be interested in job working with kids, and that “job” quickly became a career I didn’t want to step away from.

 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?

As a youth care worker, there can be many of these moments. The first one I can recall is after one of our previous clients unfortunately passed away. I knew I wanted to be here, I wanted to do more, and I was driven and hopeful that other youth would not experience the same difficulties. I determined that if I can say or do something that helps a child now — a year from now or even five years from now — it will all be worth it.

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

The youth we work with have so much baggage. Unpacking all of that and working through it can be rather difficult for kids, families and staff. We cannot simply unpack some of the difficulties they’ve been through and examine the voids left in their lives and hearts without filling those areas up with positive memories, strong and healthy relationships, and new skills. Sometimes the youth don’t have family and peer support or internal motivation to fill those voids with positive influences, so our jobs as staff can be even harder.

What are some of the rewarding aspects of the job? 

The most rewarding thing about the job is when I can see progress, even the smallest progress. The absolute best part is the annual celebration when a youth comes back to receive an award. Hearing about their journey, appreciation and success definitely makes our work worth it. It is a reminder of a job well done but even more about a life changed to continue on healthily and successfully.  

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

There is a need in our community for residential programs. Many families need help; they are lost, broken, struggling with trauma and other generational roadblocks. Programs such as Ellipsis help to provide the tools to make the change so each individual can write their own story rather than continuing to live out the hurt or prevent passing it to the next generation. If we want better circumstances, we have to do better for our youth and communities. Qualified professionals help do this.

 Youth deserve love and another chance, and our staff provides those things.

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

Often, people believe that youth in difficult situations cannot be helped or say more discipline could have been the answer. The reality is that people can be helped through love, support and therapeutic approaches.

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

I have worked with thousands of youth through the years, and every single one of them deserved to be treated with respect, receive love and be heard. Sometimes that is all they are wanting. Sometimes they are not in the place to hear, but I keep on in hopes that something I say or do will influence their desire to be successful.