BCC Spotlight: Ashley Hunt, Early Learning Program Teacher

ashley-hunt-board-of-child-careHunt is a born and raised Washington, D.C. native with a passion for working with young children. She received her associate’s degree in child development from Southeastern University. Hunt became a teacher in 2006 at BCC’s Early Learning Program (Washington, D.C.).

Q. Have you always known you wanted to work with young children?
A. Absolutely. In high school, I was a tutor in an aftercare program, and from them on always had a passion to work with young children. When I graduated from Southeastern, I went to work at a childcare center right away. Four years later, I joined BCC and have been here ever since.

Q. DC uses a mixed income model in its classrooms. How does that work?
A. A little over half of the children at the DC ELP are utilizing a voucher from the District of Columbia to cover tuition. The remainder of the families pay privately. I really like this model because it encourages an exchange of culture. Traditions such as clothing, language, and observed holidays all shine through in the classroom. It is a special moment when you see that the kids are learning from each other.

Q. You mentioned you had a “shadow” with you from day one. Who was following you around?
A. My first day at BCC was also the first day for an adorable little one-year-old toddler. I just so happened to be the first person she met when she came to the center. She must have seen my “I’m new here too” glow because she followed me around all the time after that!

Q. Leaving their parents is tough for some children. What do you do to help them adjust?
A. You absolutely need to be compassionate and remember that every child will adjust differently. The DC program serves kids from six weeks up through five year olds, but all of them need a lot of nurturing at this stage in their lives.

ashley-hunt-in-her-classroomQ. How have early learning programs changed since you graduated from school?
A. I think the whole industry of childcare is changing and I am glad to be at a place where an actual curriculum is used. [Ed. Note: the curriculum the DC ELP uses is called the Creative Curriculum]. I learn a lot from it. I like all the ideas it gives me for how to manage my classroom and the actual resource cards, books, and learning tools are great. I also recently attended Quality Improvement Network’s (QIN) almost yearlong training in early childhood development and really took a lot away from that.

[Ed. Note: The Quality Improvement network is a consortium of early learning providers in DC working to improve access to quality early childhood education. Ashely completed eight, 3-hour sessions over the past year that were offered by QIN. Some of the modules covered included classroom management strategies and student-teacher interaction techniques.]

Q. We heard you took away more than a certificate of completion after the QIN training. What was it?
A. I was honored to be selected by my fellow classmates as the winner of the “QIN Spirit” award!

Read more from BCC Spotlight: Ashley Hunt, Early Learning Program Teacher

BCC Spotlight: Jernise Ayers, Behavioral Interventionist

jernise-ayers-employee-spotlightAyers started at BCC in 2014 as a Child Care Worker on the Denton Campus covered in beef stew (Not a typo! read on for the full story). In October 2015, she was selected to manage a community-based program BCC received a grant to start. Ayers graduated in 2004 with a B.S. from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in human ecology (child development concentration). A Dover, DE native, Ayres has spent her career to date focused on helping young adolescents.

You’re at a BBQ and somebody asks you what you do. How do you describe your role? The kids and the families you work with?
I start with the basics and just tell them I work at a group home in the community. I admit I do get a few funny looks. I think that comes from the stereotype that some people have of who lives at a group home. Or they think that because I’m a girl that I shouldn’t be working with adolescents with behavior challenges! But I just tell them the kids are awesome and that it’s your relationship with them that matters more. Not how big or strong you are.

Who have been mentors for you as you’ve started your career?
I would definitely say Karen has been a role model (Ed. Note: Karen McGee, Denton’s Program Director). I can ask her anything and I learn something from her every time. My older sister is another – she’s like my second mom. She kind of raised me because my mom worked an overnight job.

Do you get a lot of support from your family for what you do?
At first I don’t think they really understood why I wanted to do this. Even though my sister is older we’ve actually been living very parallel education and work lives. We graduated from our respective colleges a week apart. My sister is working at a group home in Delaware as a parent aid and my cousin actually just started a job in the human services field. So now it’s becoming more of a family thing and I think everyone understands a little better who we’re actually helping and how much of an impact we are making.

So the “stew” story we gather is kind of famous on campus. Could you share what happened on your first day?
My first day at BCC is definitely a story shared often around here. I was sitting with two boys at lunch and they started to argue about something. One of them accidentally spilled his bowl of beef stew all over me. I finished my shift and believe me each day since I have kept a spare set of clothes in my car! I guess some people would have said this job wasn’t for them after something like that, but I knew after that first day I was supposed to be here.

You’ve switched roles from Child Care Worker to working on this Community Program grant. Tell us about that.
About a year ago BCC was awarded a grant from Caroline county to do more therapy with young adults who were exhibiting “at risk” behaviors. The work was really focused on early intervention and trying to keep them out of the foster care or juvenile court system. This year Caroline county shifted the focus of our work to target youth who have at least one parent recently released from incarceration.
I do a lot of work on just basic communication. When a young person hasn’t had this adult figure in their life for some time it can be difficult to reconnect (and vice versa for the adult – they feel awkward and don’t know what to talk about). I’m excited because this work is all about strengthening families and the stronger we can make them, the stronger the community will be overall.

What’s next for you? Going back to school?
My next life adventure is definitely graduate school. I’m going to try to do my degree online because I really like this job and don’t want to leave!

If you could snap your fingers and something could be different, what would it be?
Probably extend the day. There just isn’t enough time to do everything I want to!

Read more from BCC Spotlight: Jernise Ayers, Behavioral Interventionist

BCC Spotlight: SHAYNTELLE “SHAWNEE” MOORE, MS, RN, CPNP

Baltimore’s Health Suite Director, Moore is a graduate of Hampton University (bachelor’s degree) and University of Maryland-Baltimore (master’s degree). She spent 10 years as an intensive care nurse before coming to the Board of Child Care in 2014.

Q: The Health Suite has completely transformed! You have added Registered Nurses, made the suite an everyday operation and met all the regulatory requirements in just two years. How do these changes improve life for program participants?

A: I think the access to nursing care and support, including 24-7 access to a health care provider, and extended office hours, has made the biggest difference. Our registered nurses have an additional case manager/delegating nurse certification that allows them to oversee certified medication technicians (non-medical staff trained to administer medication). This plays a crucial role in our off-site campuses to ensure our staff are properly licensed, trained, and equipped to administer medication safely to our youth and provide proper support for all medical concerns.

The case manager/delegating nurses have also allowed us to expand the number of certified medication technicians (CMT) we have at BCC. This provides flexibility for our youth around medication times, so we don’t have to restrict our youth from participating in any planned event.

Q: You have a ton of initials and acronyms after your name! What do all those mean and why are those designations important to have for your work at BCC?

A: My credentials are meaningful to me like accreditation is important to our organization. They represent an objective, measurable way of determining competency. We can provide a full spectrum of primary care health services, which include assessing, screening, diagnosing, and treating/prescribing right here on campus.

MS stands for Masters of Science, an advanced level post-graduate degree required to become an advanced practice registered nurse and prerequisite for national certification. CRNP and RN stand for Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner and Registered Nurse, issued from a governmental entity to set qualifications and competencies for safe entry-level practitioners.

Finally, CPNP-PC is for Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care, a certification obtained by passing a national board exam and maintained through demonstration of competency in your practice.

Q: What are the most important considerations you and your staff keep in mind when serving/treating our program participants? Take our readers inside a visit or appointment, please.

A: There is a delicate balance between serving a youth’s medical needs and remaining trauma-informed to the patient. We address the patient’s needs first to make them comfortable, because often, the trauma they have experienced is a lack of care or worse, neglect or abuse. We build upon the therapeutic plan by giving the patient the freedom to make choices. For example, they can decide when to take their medications, so they are empowered in their own care.

Q: Why do this work here – with the challenges presented by youth in foster care – when you could be doing this anywhere else? What motivates you to work here, stay here, and continue to push for change?

A: I do it for the kids. I truly love the organization and the youth I serve. Advocating for the safety and health of our youth will always be my platform and I am proud to work for an organization that supports and encompasses my vision.
Q: We understand you enjoy the start and end to your day in Bolton Hill. How do you bookend your days and what makes it enjoyable?

A: Every day starts by walking my dogs, Lil’ Scrappy & Lil’ Stunner. I love being nestled in the middle of the city because the three-story row houses, the red brick and marble steps, and the windows to fit the high ceilings are so enchanting.

You can find children playing hockey in the street, artists painting pictures in the park, and most importantly, parking. Saturday mornings start with a quick run around the harbor or a spin class, with brunch afterwards to refuel. There is something for everyone in Bolton Hill.

Do you know of someone worth spotlighting at BCC? Email that recommendation to communications@boardofchildcare.org.

Read more from BCC Spotlight: SHAYNTELLE “SHAWNEE” MOORE, MS, RN, CPNP

BCC Spotlight: LISA MILLS, Direct Care Staff, Martinsburg, WV

Lisa MillsA graduate of American Public University in Charlestown, WV, Mills is a BCC programming alum and now works in BCC’s group homes in Martinsburg, WV. Mills was hired in 2015 and is hopeful of attending graduate school at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV. She’s a native of Martinsburg, WV and enjoys taking care of her two girls.

Q: You’re a BCC alum. How did you arrive at BCC and how did your time at BCC change you?

A: I was sent to BCC in 2008 when I was 14 years old. Before coming to BCC, I had been in a detention center for three months, an awful experience, mind you and the Abraxas Leadership Development Program boot camp for seven months. BCC made such a huge impact on my life. One of my biggest problems was communicating effectively with my family and the family therapy provided by BCC helped me build a better relationship with them. I remember the staff, a few in particular, were so helpful and went out of their way to help me transition into the program. I met a lot of friends while I was at BCC. I still keep in touch with many of them and still consider them my friends. I even keep in contact with the staff that made a difference in my life.

Q: You went to school at BCC in Martinsburg – is there anything that stands out to you about that experience?

A: The school system was remarkable, because the teachers – most of whom are still there – were amazing and I was actually able to get ahead so that when I returned to public school, I only had to go to school for a half day my senior year. How many kids in foster care can say that? I was offered a scholarship for successfully completing the program and although I did not need to use it from my undergrad, I hope they will allow me to still use it for my master’s degree which I plan to get in counseling so that I can hopefully help even more.

Q: You spoke of the BCC difference – describe some of the game-changers that worked for you?

A: I was immediately surprised at how nice the campus was. The pool, basketball courts, a gym, a weight room and so much more. I was excited I could have things like an iPod and even my own clothes because I was so used to wearing a uniform. When I was in boot camp, I could only call my family for five minutes, once a week. When I came to BCC, I could not believe I could make phone calls every day. I also was never allowed a home visit at my previous placement so having them at BCC really gave me something to look forward to and work toward. BCC had provided me with so many resources, both as a resident and after I left. I cannot thank BCC enough for helping me through one of the hardest times of my life and helping all of the kids that have been through their doors.

Q: When you graduated from college, you immediately applied at BCC. It didn’t come easily; it took three interviews spanning several months. What motivated you to join the team?

A: While I was a resident, I always joked about coming back to work but I never thought I would actually do it. I told myself that I wanted to work with kids that are in a tough place in life as I once was. I wanted to make a difference and let kids know that they are not alone and being in placement can be a positive experience if they choose to make it one. Truthfully, the opportunity was one I had dreamt of fulfilling. Now, as a staff, I realize it is harder to see or understand the impact we are making on the children, but the resident in me knows the impact is huge. While the kids do not realize it at the time, that impact exists! BCC taught me lifelong lessons, provided me with lifelong friends, and I want to pay it forward.

Q: Some of your co-workers might not know this, but you enjoy pulling a big slimy fish off a hook, right?

A: I love fishing, and not just any fishing, but night fishing, and taking my girls fishing, or taking them into the rivers with waders to fish. We usually do this when we go camping, too. I learned this from my father primarily. Some daughters grow up going to baseball games or eating ice cream with their fathers. I grew up fishing with my father, and I am going to pass it on to my girls!

Do you know of someone worth spotlighting at BCC? Email that recommendation to communications@boardofchildcare.org.

Read more from BCC Spotlight: LISA MILLS, Direct Care Staff, Martinsburg, WV

BCC Spotlight: LYNETTE SEAY, Strawbridge Reading Specialist

Lynette Seay 021Lynette Seay (pronounced ‘see’) has taught reading and writing at Strawbridge School for the past six years. A native of Brooklyn, NY – Seay graduated from Notre Dame of Maryland (undergrad) and Loyola University (master’s degree). She previously worked at Children’s Guild, Kennedy Krieger, Baltimore City’s Lyndhurst Elementary school and was a stay-at-home mom before jumping back into her teaching career. Seay lives in Overlea, MD, with her husband and three children.

Q: Unlike public schools, where tenure most often applies, six years is a good stretch of time at a non-public school. What keeps the fire burning for you at Strawbridge?

A: When you are new to any school, it can be daunting not knowing the kids or staff. As I got to know the students and staff, I saw that the school is the best, most therapeutic place for them. Seeing the achievements of our students and building relationships with my coworkers has made the transition to the non-public arena worth it.

In addition, the energy around the school, the campus setting, and the organization itself under Laurie Anne Spagnola’s leadership makes a big difference. While you do sometimes hear teachers talking about not being invigorated or valued within the education industry as a whole, I feel quite the opposite about teaching at Strawbridge.

Q: You said the school invigorates you. What makes Strawbridge different from other schools in public and non-public sectors?

A: We utilize a team concept to every student’s education within our population so we have many different, qualified individuals to lean on. No one teacher carries the entire load. Because we have been in the trenches with each other, we know strengths of every teacher and student.

That is the main reason the school has such an outstanding graduation rate as well as a high retention rate for students and staff. We have kids who travel almost two hours one-way to attend school here – we must be doing something right!

Q: Your role is changing next year – what has you excited about this new position? Does this change your goals as a teacher and for the school?

A: I am joining the staff development team. I will still be in the classrooms, but with a focus of training the teachers more so than the kids.

What excites me about this role is I get to support my peers and ensure consistency within the programs. Chris Sparr, the school’s Director of Professional Development and Curriculum, and I share this excitement about building the school up, building the resources up, and getting the school to be a more dynamic place to learn and teach.

Raising reading and comprehension levels is always a challenge, but over the last six years the school has been compiling data focused on these outcomes. This summer we’re taking this collection a step further and plotting our metrics against those of the research-based curriculums we purchased. This is definitely an exciting direction and a project that excites me as an educator.

Q: Reading and writing sounds like a basic skill, but you see it as so much more. Can you expand on why this is such an important aspect of teaching to you?

A: Texting and social media have really put some challenges in front of teaching reading and composition. Common Core standards say we are supposed to deliver a student who can communicate effectively with the written word.

Being able to apply for a job, respond to professional communications, and have a chance to succeed in adulthood does matter. However, it is more than learning a useful skill. For the student population we serve, reading and writing is joyful. It is a coping skill. It is a way to identify with different aspects of themselves as they seek out who they are and what they want to be.

I have a student dealing with some serious transgender issues, and he is asking for books that might adequately reflect who he is and who he is trying to be. These are real issues; to have the ability to read and write – and use reading and writing as an outlet to express their feelings – is important and therapeutic.

Q: You have some serious sports diversity – and intense rivalries – in your family. That must make Thanksgiving interesting! Tell us about that.

A: I grew up in New York City – my mother once met the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson in the subway – but because I went to school in Maryland and raised my family in Maryland I’ve really become more of a Ravens fan than I ever was a Giants fan. Just to make the rivalry even worse my son has become a fan of the Patriots!

However, in the spring it becomes harmonic in our home because we are all big fans of the Orioles. My New York family does not understand how this happened, but I cannot help it – the Ravens are so scrappy! It seems people either love or hate the Ravens…and I love them!

Do you know of someone worth spotlighting at BCC? Email that recommendation to communications@boardofchildcare.org.

Read more from BCC Spotlight: LYNETTE SEAY, Strawbridge Reading Specialist

BCC Spotlight: ALEXANDRA GLOVER, LGSW and Care Team Coordinator

Alexandra Glover
Alexandra Glover

Glover earned an April promotion to Care Team Coordinator, where she will assist with integration and implementation of programming on Baltimore’s upper campus. Known at BCC as Alex, she’s a 2009 graduate of the University of Kentucky — Go Cats! — and secured her master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland in 2014.

Q: Before you became a social worker, you were an on-call childcare worker and later interned with our Treatment Foster Care team while you attended graduate school. What was your perspective those first few months – how has it changed? – and how did those challenges prepare you for your present caseload and responsibilities?

A: I went from a person focused solely on doing one job to dispersing my energy into many areas at once. The challenge was to find the balance in juggling work, school, and the internship while ensuring the multitasking would not affect my work and relationships built with my youth. I had many ‘aha moments’ in those first few months of grad school and still have them. It is all part of being a social worker … You need some grit in this field, because it’s not for everyone, but it is for me.

Those challenges and experiences have aided me many times when I had a demanding week and was not sure where to start. Prioritizing tasks and figuring out what is important is how you win the day.

Q: Your second graduate school internship was with Johns Hopkins Hospital, but you choose a full-time offer from BCC over Hopkins after graduation. What made BCC your top pick?

A: I was fortunate to have to decide between BCC and Hopkins, but the decision was not difficult. I had fallen in love with residential treatment and felt like BCC was already my home. I like being in a setting where social work and mental health were the top priorities, whereas in the hospital medical needs were understandably put first. I also wanted to work in a position where I could build long-term therapeutic and working relationships with clients, families, and agencies.

Q: Can you talk about how your progression from childcare worker four years ago to intern to social worker to coordinator helps shape the therapeutic strategies you employ in your new position?

A: We speak of our participants from a programming or clinical standpoint, and I am blessed with some background in both, so my progression shapes strategies daily. Residential care is constantly evolving; the challenges I faced as a childcare worker are different today, but I know both perspectives.

I am excited about my new position because it is completely in line with BCC’s new mission. This is a way to bridge BCC’s work from a clinical and programming standpoint from a time where we were separate to being truly integrated.

Q: You said the diverse team that supports the kids we serve is vitally important to achieving successful outcomes. What makes this so?

A: We are tasked with designing and executing a program that completely wraps care around an individual. This means the more obvious categories like education, physical health, and providing housing.

It also includes the intangibles such as teaching life skills, coaching them how to be their own advocates in treatment meetings, and just generally supporting them through breakups, crushes, tough teachers, and everything else that comes with being a teenager. That is the best way I can describe how BCC becomes their nonconventional family.
Each member of the care team is working on one, if not multiple goals in those categories I just mentioned.

We must all learn from one another, and from the youth directly, what is working and what isn’t. That’s where the communication piece is so critical and having a diverse team so important. One person may think to try something a different way and that becomes the breakthrough moment that really resonates with youth.

Q: Kentucky and Maryland are two universities with proud basketball heritages, and your brothers attended the University of North Carolina. March Madness must be intense, right?

A: Yes, quite intense! We grew up watching and rooting for Maryland – and still do! – but our primary loyalties are with Kentucky and UNC now.

I decided I’d take it easy on my parents and made them a blanket they keep on the couch with one side UNC and one side Kentucky. My mom just flips it over dependent on the game they are watching at the time. I also gave them two attractive yard gnomes as a present one year that they now proudly keep in our nice living room. We rub their heads for good luck on big game days!

All serious fans have their rituals, right? Needless to say, it’s not bad being a basketball fan as a member of our family – most years we’re going to have at least one serious contender!

Know of someone worth spotlighting at BCC? Email that recommendation to communications@boardofchildcare.org.

Read more from BCC Spotlight: ALEXANDRA GLOVER, LGSW and Care Team Coordinator

BCC Spotlight: WINSTON GREEN, Substance Abuse Counselor

GREEN CROP
WINSTON GREEN

Winston Green, 66, is a substance abuse counselor contracted by BCC through Mountain Manor. He works with residents on the Baltimore residential campus. Green earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Business Administration from Morgan State University and graduate degrees from Morgan State (psychology) and Loyola University Maryland (business).

Q: Where does your passion for helping others solve drug and substance abuse issues come from?
A: “I’m a people person. I was a research assistant initially when my career started, but I fell in love with counseling when I saw that I could help someone just from interacting with them. What continues to fuel my fire are those moments where a kid gets a sparkle in his or her eye and you know you have made a difference. Something clicked.”

Q: Your position is part of a larger partnership between BCC and Mountain Manor. Tell us about that.
A: “When it comes to drug and substance abuse treatment, adolescents need different treatment strategies than adults do. BCC identified years ago that they needed better counseling available for its residents onsite. Mountain Manor is an expert in providing those services, and already had the staff and funding streams set up to work with the Baltimore campus residents – youth in the foster care system. I am a Mountain Manor employee but am here on the Baltimore campus three times a week.

Q: How does BCC work to address substance abuse issues?
A: “Before a new resident even arrives on campus I work with the admissions team to identify all relevant past history of substance abuse. Once they arrive I conduct an assessment one on one with the child to determine if there is a need for further counseling. If there is, that child’s individual treatment plan (ITP) includes sessions with me. I’m also responsible for creating a discharge plan, which includes therapeutic techniques to continue using even after that young person leaves BCC.”

Q: What don’t most people know about substance abuse and why it is so hard for young people to quit?
A: “In the past, people thought it was a matter of just saying “no” to kick a habit. You saw those campaigns all the time in schools. “Just say NO!” Often, substance abuse comes from an individual’s need to find comfort or a way to feel less anxious. At BCC, I work with program participants to identify the environment or triggers that are causing them to reach for drugs or alcohol in the first place. As we progress, I show them that you can attain those same feelings of stability and calm without using drugs or drinking.”

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A: I have a passion for golf, but my enthusiasm does not seem to translate to a low score! These days I leave it to the pros and enjoy watching tournaments on TV. My real love lately is woodworking. Just like substance abuse, I enjoy work on antique furniture, because you can see progression towards the finished result. It gives me a chance to find myself when I am not at work.

Read more from BCC Spotlight: WINSTON GREEN, Substance Abuse Counselor

BCC Spotlight: SARAH DISCHNER, Clinical Social Worker

DischnerSarah Dischner, 29, is a Clinical Social Worker based out of BCC’s Charlotte Hall office in southern Maryland. Exclusively seeing youth in BCC’s Treatment Foster Care (TFC) program, Dischner came to BCC in 2015 after seeing schizophrenia patients in Pittsburgh the prior four years. A native of Williamsport, PA, Dischner earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh in 2011.

Q: What attracted you to and motivated you to apply to BCC:
A: I was planning to move to the Maryland area in general and the opportunity with Board of Child Care sounded interesting because working with children was always appealing to me.

Q: What is your title and what does a garden-variety day look like for you?
A: As a clinical social worker for TFC I serve youth and families impacted by complex trauma. A typical morning for me includes compiling notes, prepping for appointments, and completing care plans and other paperwork.

I start seeing youth when school is out, so I spend afternoons on the road and in the community. I conduct one on one visits with the kids, as well as sessions with them and their families. Sometimes this means their biological parents, and sometimes it is with BCC’s TFC parents. I work closely with the TFC team to make sure that both the child and the TFC parents are receiving the support they need.

Q: This is not a typical 9-to-5 job – what makes this work rewarding to you?
A: Being able to help someone make the small changes in their life that translate to big changes for them and their community is what gets me out of bed in the morning. The youth and families I work with volunteer to participate in therapy with me – and sometimes not everyone wants to be there.

Many little engagements are necessary to earn the respect and trust of the child and their family (biological or foster care) to make progress possible.

Q: What has been better than advertised about coming aboard with BCC?
A: Being able to flex my schedule has been a big benefit to working at BCC. If I see someone at eight or nine in the evening, I can come in at 10am the next day so I do not burn out. I have also been impressed with the organization’s effort to make sure practitioners get the help and attention we need.

I feel like supervisors actually care about the staff and having that support has solidified for me the feeling that I made a good decision to join BCC.

Q: You recently found a horse tooth from the Ice Age. What is this all about?
A: Shark teeth, crab fossils, and mollusks all wash up on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Calvert Cliff State Park and Flag Pond State Park are two of my favorite beaches to visit. Winter is definitely better than summer for this activity.

A few months ago, I found a tooth much bigger than normal for a mammal. After I posted a picture online, Calvert Marine Museum contacted me and indicated it was probably from a horse and that they would like to see it and study it further. Mammal teeth are rare because typically, during the Ice Age, mammals would die, float out to sea, decompose, and sink – so finding the tooth on a beach is unusual and very lucky!

 

Editor’s Note:

The version of this article published in Keywords originally listed Sarah’s title incorrectly as an Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment (IDDT) specialist. She is a Clinical Social Worker at BCC.  Our apologies to Sarah!

Read more from BCC Spotlight: SARAH DISCHNER, Clinical Social Worker

BCC Spotlight: BRADLEY SPOON, Child and Family Therapist

bcc-spotlight-bradley-spoon
BRADLEY SPOON

Spoon, 26, works at BCC’s Outpatient Mental Health Clinic in Pasadena, MD. He came to the Board of Child Care with a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in Mental Health Counseling in 2014 and an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Stevenson University in 2011.


Q: Where does your passion for this career path come from?

A: “There were moments in my life when I felt I didn’t have a voice, and I know how incredibly difficult it is to have to deal with things on your own and not have someone to talk to about it. I’ve always wanted to be that person for someone when they need it most.”

Q: When did you feel voiceless? Was there a moment in particular that served as motivation for your current career?

A: “I identify as a gay male, and coming out was one of those moments. I was also a caretaker for my father at 14 years old. When I see youth who are dealing with similar problems, I try to be genuine with them.”

Q: How did you find out about BCC and what appealed to you about working here?

A: “I found BCC through Johns Hopkins’ internship program. I interviewed with Andrea Carroll (Ed. Note: Director of BCC’s Outpatient Mental Health Clinic) but at the time I was looking for a more general area of counseling. I realized later that the role Andrea had me in mind for was actually in my wheelhouse after all.”

Q: Andrea Carroll calls you an “enthusiastic team player” at OMHC. What does being a team player mean to you?

A: “Having a difficult caseload without professional support is a big fear to me. It is a huge advantage to be able to call on someone else’s professional perspective. I want to try to be that resource for other therapists, too.”

Q: How has your professional work changed you?

A: “Working at the Board of Child Care has allowed me to become more confident in the work I do. Working with the OMHC team has allowed me to shed some hesitancy, open my wings, and be more confident as a therapist.”

Read more from BCC Spotlight: BRADLEY SPOON, Child and Family Therapist