A Children’s Champion

Everyone needs someone in their corner.  I can remember in high school, it was Mrs. Toothman, my science teacher.  She saw right through me and I couldn’t get away with anything.  But she also pushed me to be my best and challenged me to not only be a contender, but a champion.  There were days that she would absolutely frustrate me because she knew my worth was far greater than what I had seen in myself. 

Amber and HerbFor the youth at Boys & Girls Homes, it is of the upmost importance that they have someone there to push them to be the best versions of themselves and to reach for their goals.  For our residential youth it is our case managers, Mr. Herb and Ms. Amber that turn the contenders into champions.  The case managers have been an integral part of our support team.  They have some of the biggest hearts and take joy and pride in helping others and expect nothing in return.  From getting youth connected to a therapist, engaging with family to find connections, playing basketball with the youth, or even just making sure that they get their meals, the case managers rise to the occasion.  You see, it takes a special person to be able to be with someone at their lowest points and to see past the façade of behaviors that are showing because the youth feels loss and pain. 

I am inspired daily by Mr. Herb and Ms. Amber’s ability to see the best in others when the youth are having trouble seeing the best in themselves.  The residents will tell you that “Ms. Amber does not tolerate bullying and she will call me out” and “Mr. Herb expects so much from me and he makes me do it right.”  The youth are learning that they can have boundaries and still experience unconditional positive regard from adults.  Rocky Balboa said, “Going in one more round when you don’t think you can.  That’s what makes all the difference in your life.” This is a great way to sum up the tenacity of the case managers and their work.  Not only do they do this daily, but they also teach the youth that this is the key to turning their passion into purpose.  Thank you Mr. Herb and Ms. Amber for all that you do on behalf of our youth!

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Kristen Dewberry is the Clinical Social Worker Supervisor at Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.

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