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BCC Child Care Worker -Kimara McKoy
During her busy work schedule, Board of Child Care staffer Kimara McKoy “doing good and feeling good” McKoy took a moment to share her journey with us!
Where did you grow up? I grew up in a small town called princess Ann Maryland.
What University did you attend?
I attended Salisbury University.
Why did you choose to work at the Board of Child Care?
I choose to work at the Board of Child Care because working with kids is something that I am passionate about and something that I have always cared about.
What advice would you give to an inspiring Child Care Worker?
In order to be a Child Care Worker, you definitely have to have tough skin. You have to be willing to step outside of yourself and think about the needs of other people
Do you have any hobbies? In my free time I like to read, cook, and clean.
Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years I see myself with my masters in human services counseling and still working in the Child Care career field.
What is your vision of a perfect world? My vision of a perfect world is one where everyone can love and respect one another despite everyone’s differences.
Name one thing you would like people to know about you? One thing people should know about me is that I am full of laughter.
As a TRUE Guardian of the Galaxy, share with us a/your Super Powers? I would be able to teleport.
Is there anything else that you want me to know about you? N/A.
When you were younger, what was your favorite toy? When I was younger, my favorite toy would have to be the easy bake oven.
For more do good, feel good careers with a mission, visit boardofchildcare.org/careers
Read more from Careers with a mission!
Board of Child Care President and CEO Laurie Anne Spagnola aka LA, Reverend Dr. Stacey Nickerson and our Board Members are in Nashville this week for the United Methodist Association (UMA) annual meeting. The UMA presented Board of Child Care with Eagle accreditation for providing excellence in quality Christian Health and Human Services. BCC pursues nationally recognized accreditations to ensure its programs and operations meet and exceed industry best practices.
EAGLE’s collaborative approach aligns with BCC’s viewpoint that all charities and organizations must come together to solve some of our community’s most challenging problems. Via the UMA we routinely reach out and work with other faith-based organizations to exchange ideas and resources.
BCC deeply appreciates having EAGLE and its incredible network of peer reviewers as guides and mentors to ensuring spiritual wellbeing is closely interwoven throughout BCC’s service offerings and supports for staff.
When asked about BCC’s accreditation and success LA cheered “We are thrilled about it!”
For more information on the UMA and Eagle accreditation click below on “Pathways to Excellence.”Read more from Eagles take flight at the United Methodist Association Annual Meeting
Board of Child Care Program Director Dr. Meg DePasquale will be the new Director of Clinical Services for the Maryland Development Disabilities Administration starting Wednesday, April 18, 2018!
Dr. DePasquale is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a doctorate degree in Social Work and current Program Director for the Baltimore Board of Child Care. Prior to that, she was an adjunct instructor of social work courses at Salisbury University. She provided clinical supervision at The Benedictine School for 13 years and worked as a primary therapist for adolescents in a residential setting at Edgemeade Focus Point for six years. Please welcome Dr. DePasquale to the DDA.
How do you measure a year in a life?
In daylights? In sunsets? In midnights? In cups of coffee? In inches? In miles? In laughter? In strife? In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure a year in a life?
Measure in LOVE.
Thankful and grateful for the seasons of love we shared with Dr. Meg Despaquale at Board of Child Care. From the entire staff at BCC, congratulations on the next chapter in your journey to be the change in the world.
You’re going to be GREAT!!
Read more from Dr. Meg DePasquale will be the new DDA Director of Clinical Services
At the Board of Child Care, we support various recreational activities. One of most recent campus events was a Staff Vs. Resident basketball game. In the game, there was a referee, we had the scoreboard working, we took stats… the game was competitive, but competition wasn’t the focus of the event. One of our goals is to encourage appropriate interactions social interactions, and in order to encourage and guide such interactions we included a physical activity that most people like. At the end of the game, each team high-fived each other and said “good game”, showing good sportsmanship.Read more from Staff vs. Youth Basketball Game
At the Board of Child Care, there are many departments that come together to provide the care you the youth. For National Social Worker Month, our Social Workers were interviewed to give us a better understanding of their role in their current position, as well as who they are as individuals. The following interview represents Ms. Micaela Itter
How long have you been for working at the Board of Child Care?
I was an Intern for 1 year, Child Care Worker for 1 year, and now I am a social worker for almost 7 months.
Favorite memory while at the Board of Child Care?
When a resident gave me a chicken for Christmas
We all have the same goal but achieve it differently. How are you working to fulfill this mission statement?
Promoting unification whenever possible
What is your greatest strength in one word?
Advocating for the youth that I serve
How do you display said strength while working?
Collaborating with all parties of treatment to ensure that all need are met and making sure that youth have the opportunity to display improvement.
Can you help us understand why you chose to include the image below?
The single most memorable day of my life was spent with Rebecca, Trina and Chloe. It was my first time in NYC and I will be forever grateful for our fearless leader and chaperone.
To read more about my fabulous trip to NYC click here!
Read more from National Social Worker Month: Micaela Itter Interview
Our case management team is constantly working to seek resources for our youth. Our case managers hosted a college fair that provided useful information to our youth about college clubs, scholarships, financial aid, and admissions. Youth received giveaways and other useful information that can guide them in college choices. After the event, youth contemplated on which college they want to go to. This summer, our youth will have the opportunity to tour various college campuses in order to experience what college life is like. – Blog Post written by Nick, BCC’s Development InternRead more from College Bound
Written By Rebecca Dunkin, Development Associate at Board of Child Care
Images by Trina-Michelle Rosado, Training Specialist at Board of Child Care
A Special Birthday — A Day in New York City
One of our former residents is known for her personalized celebrations. Birthdays, graduation, discharge, every special event meant a personalized party on campus from this youth. Months before the event (while she was still at BCC) she would walk around asking staff for money excitedly sharing that it was for “Ms. Sarah’s birthday!” or “Samantha’s graduation party!” She made sure that all events were personally catered to the recipient’s favorite things.
For my birthday this year, she went over the top with a dog themed party. First, she invited two co-workers who each had puppies so I could get covered in wet slobbery kisses. Then she had decorated her apartment from ceiling to floor in decorations. The apartment was covered with cutouts, balloons, banners, streamers, and dog decor. She didn’t stop there. She also made food that was all dog themed. We feasted on pup-eroni (pepperoni) pizza, pup-cakes (cupcakes) and various other treats. (Please see the pictures below.) It was truly a memorable day and so very thoughtful.
A few months later, when her 20th birthday rolled around, I knew we had to make it something special. We (my co-workers and I) planned a birthday day trip to New York City where she would get to have a great new experience with her most favorite people. This was her first time in the Big Apple and we had a full agenda of birthday wishes. We strolled around Central Park and we watched the ice skaters at Rockefeller Center. We shopped in the big Lego store and in M&M World. We saw Time Square during the day and then again at night when it was lit up. To end the night we had her favorite food, a slice of New York pizza. It was a great day for us and for her, with memories we will always cherish.
This is #mygivingstory
A New Path Chosen
Diagnosed with ADD at an early age, C.J. struggled throughout his childhood and was headed down a path of self-destruction. He found himself in jail and was admitted to BCC’s Falling Waters Campus. While he was there, C.J. discovered a sense of community that did wonders for his self esteem and communication skills. C.J. became very active in the local high school while BCC staff kept him on track with his academics. When offered the chance to graduate on stage with his senior class, C.J. chose instead to graduate at Falling Waters. It was one of his proudest moments. After leaving the BCC, C.J. wanted to join the armed forces yet he was unable to score high enough for enlistment. Using the skills learned at the BCC, C.J. studied until he was able to earn the rank of a U.S. Marine.Read more from Behind The Tassel-CJ
Matthew Howard: An Alumni Who Gives Back Every Day
As most anyone on campus knows, Matthew Howard is a well-respected and hard-working member of the Board of Child Care staff. After only two years as head of the on-campus mechanic shop, he has found ways to save thousands in unnecessary charges and updated operations in numerous ways. What’s less well-known is that he’s also an alumnus of Strawbridge School. That’s not surprising since, as he says, he did not fit the profile of a “typical” student.
“Not everyone who attends Strawbridge School comes from adverse homes,” says Matthew. “My family life is actually pretty solid. I was lucky for that, compared to a lot of the other kids here. I have a lot of support from both of my parents.”
Yet the school proved to be the right fit for him, in so many ways. More important, the transformation that he experienced during the three years he attended was textbook. Matthew admits he never felt comfortable in any school, and the middle school years were particularly difficult for him. “I had a lot of challenges [in 7th and 8th grade], a lot of anxiety and social problems,” he says. “I was super-antisocial and had a really hard time in large groups of kids. So I just wound up leaving school to go hang out in the woods for 6 hours. I just needed to be by myself.”
The public school system tends to be intolerant of such behavior, and eventually, after receiving some counseling and being transferred to several different schools, Matthew wound up as a day student at Strawbridge. As it turned out, it was what he needed most. “In public school, it was like you were up to something if you didn’t want to go to class or anything like that,” he says. “Their answer is always ‘no.’ here [at Strawbridge], it was more like, ‘how can we help you get back into class at some point?’ There is just a strong level of support here for any problems I had, which was really helpful.”
Matthew says Strawbridge’s focus on the individual student’s need, along with small classrooms guided by education specialists, were key to his ability to grow and eventually thrive. “Coming here felt more comforting, it just seemed different. Here, they were accepting of the type of person I was,” says Matthew, who graduated in 2001. “They don’t try to ‘fix’ you, they just try to help you understand that it’s OK if you’re different. A lot of it is just helping you accept and understand who you are.”
One of the things that helped him cope and find a pathway forward, he says, was the school’s flexible curriculum. “I had a lot of electives and I was given more ways to express myself,” he says, adding that he spent a lot of time in the wood shop during senior year, which allowed him to find inspiration and discover something he liked to do. In fact, he originally intended to pursue a career in carpentry after graduation.
Eventually, his desire to work with his hands — and to work indoors on solid ground, rather than up on a roof in bad weather — led him to join his father’s auto mechanic shop. He worked there for a decade and gained experience, know-how and increased responsibility.
In 2015, when offered the opportunity to come back to BCC to run the on-campus mechanic operations, Matthew couldn’t resist. “It felt like it would be cool to come back and work here and give something back,” he says. “I am happy to be back here. It feels like home.” Giving back includes mentoring and teaching: “I have kids who work with me from time to time, and if any are willing to learn, I am more than happy to teach them.”
And not just about maintaining and repairing vehicles, either.
“I tell them to embrace this place,” he says. “This place has a lot of support and a lot to offer, and I think it’s important that they acknowledge that.”
Learn more about our graduates at Behind the Tassel.
Read more from Behind the Tassel – Matthew