|Years at Ellis:||Grade 4 to Grade 12 |
|Occupation:||Licensed Clinical Social Worker; Owner/Therapist at Generett Counseling Services, LLC; Director of Prevention Services at Family Resources|
B.A. Psychology, Hampton University; M.S.W. Social Work, University of Pittsburgh
How did you become involved in your line of work?
While growing up, the importance of service, community and giving back were always emphasized in my household, and because of this, I knew very early on that I wanted a career that would help people reach their full potential. My father was a Physician and his practice was geared, for the most part, toward treating and educating low- and moderate-income individuals and families. My mother, a former Ellis Board Member, spent a significant part of her career as Dollar Bank’s Vice President of Community Development, addressing the banking needs of low- and moderate-income individuals and communities ensuring they received the loans, grants, and services necessary to enhance their communities. She also founded the widely popular program, Mortgages for Mother’s, which has successfully provided mortgages to thousands of first-time homebuyers. Because of the examples my parents set forth, I think it was inevitable for me to pursue a career in this field.
How did your time at Ellis influence your career path?
My time at Ellis instilled in me the confidence to pursue my dreams. I was surrounded by a few very special teachers who were especially supportive and helped keep me focused on both day-to-day and long-term goals.
What is a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career?
My most significant accomplishments have been centered around providing, with successful outcomes, long term mental health assistance and support to several adolescents whom others have given up on. Being able to build and maintain long term relationships with many of these individuals means everything to me. I have happily attended countless graduations, family picnics, and even a wedding.
What do you love most about your job?
In my full-time position with Family Resources, I most enjoy being surrounded by staff members who consistently give their all when working with some of the highest-need children and families in Allegheny County. I’ve never experienced such dedication. In my private practice, I love establishing a trusting relationship with my clients, which is seldom easy, and seeing them open up and do the work needed to address a particular issue or stumbling block.
When do you feel empowered and how do you empower other women in your life?
I feel most empowered when my hard work is validated by visible success, i.e. seeing a family or individual achieve their goals. I empower other women in my life by giving them the skills and the emotional support needed to successfully navigate life’s challenges.
We often talk about girls developing their voice at Ellis, what does that mean to you? How do you use your voice?
I’m an introvert and have always been extremely shy. For me, developing my voice at Ellis meant gaining the confidence needed to express my thoughts, feelings, and ideas regardless of whether those opinions were popular or not. The same still holds true for me today—just on a bigger scale. I use my voice to advocate for the children and families I work with and do my best to make sure they are always being treated with dignity and respect.
How did Ellis stimulate your intellectual curiosity and creativity?
Ellis stimulated my intellectual curiosity by making sure I was exposed to a wide variety of topics and experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom. I’m also most appreciative for an education at Ellis which allowed me to make life-long friends from all different cultures and backgrounds.
What is the last book you read?
72 Hour Hold by Bebe Moore Campbell.
What is your best Ellis memory?
I have many great memories at Ellis—from all of the mini-courses I took to our daily snack time. However, my best memory was when Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to travel to space, came to Ellis to speak during one of our assemblies.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Empathic. Sensitive. Giving.