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ISBN: 9781935552185
Staff Shout-Out
Emily, Good Shepherd Services
Bahata Saha

I was moving from the fourth floor of one building to the sixth floor of another. Emily, one of the group home workers, helped me move all my stuff—and it was a lot. I really appreciate her for helping me move without even one complaint. That’s when our amazing bond started.

At the beginning, I thought she was annoying and didn’t understand how youth felt. She seemed to be hovering over me all the time. I tried to make our meetings short or avoid her when she was on shift. Every time I AWOLed or came home drunk, she lectured me and kept me from leaving the group home.

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I never noticed that she protected me behind the scenes. She made sure everyone recognized that I did well at school and did greater things with my talent. She advocated for me and told me what I needed to improve. I didn’t notice how much she did for me until I entered college.

Being away from the group home, I had to do laundry and other things on my own. I found myself stressing about trauma from the past. I had flashbacks that kept me from sleeping at night.

After a few months, I asked Emily if I could see her. I expected scolding about why I hadn’t called yet, but I was welcomed with a big hug. She said, “I missed you” and listened to what I was stressed about. That’s when I realized that she’d stuck with me through the rough patches and made sure I achieved all I could.

I never thought a staff would give so much time and dedication to a child they worked with. I was shocked and happy to realize I had someone to call family who wasn’t blood. Emily is like a mother to me. Her habits and thoughts rubbed off on me and helped mold me into a
person I am proud to be.

This column is written by our readers in care. Tell us about a staff who believed in you, listened to you, advocated for you, gave you great advice, who in any way made your life better. E-mail your essay to representmail@youthcomm.org with the subject line Staff Shout-Out. Please include the staff’s full name and agency. Essays will be edited for length and clarity. The writer of the essay we run will receive $100.

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