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ACHIEVEMENT: NATHAN BELL
Let’s congratulate Nathan Bell on earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Psychology with a minor in Black Studies from The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) last month! Nathan has been an intern in behavioral health services at Phalanx Family Services where he helps us by conducting behavioral health assessments with our youth participants under the supervision of our behavioral health lead. In addition to his responsibilities related to compiling assessments, Nathan has also facilitated the Youth Ambassadors Program, a new youth leadership, and civic engagement initiative. Bravo, Nathan!
ACHIEVEMENT: SIDNEY JOHNSON
Let’s congratulate one of our Phalanx team members on earning his Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from Arizona State University in May! Sidney has had 2 iterations with Phalanx Family Services, formerly when he served as the supervisor of the Culture of Calm youth mentoring program, and currently as our behavioral health lead.
In his words:
“In this journey, I really got to know myself and recognize my strengths. I guess you could say I grew into myself. Coming up, people in my life always told me I was ‘special’. And, I always had a feeling I could do more, help people, and leave the world better than it was. Even though I exhibited intelligence and was effective, early life experiences caused me to struggle with confidence and self-esteem, even as an adult.
But all the roads of my life kept leading me in the direction of advancing my education. It just felt right. However, at the beginning of this process, I experienced 5 of the most stressful challenges there are in life, practically all at the same time. I relocated back to Chicago from Arizona to care for my ailing mother who later passed away, I got divorced, AND my best friend in life passed away, all within 18 months of each other. I was in a dark place but I knew I had to muster the courage to keep pushing through. And I kept thinking about all the people I could touch who needed my help. It was then that I realized if I could make it through all that I had as a young person, I could make it through this, too. THAT’S when I grew into myself.
I thank my wife and my colleagues for supporting me. But, most of all I want to thank Tina Sanders who reached for me and supported me without even knowing all that I was going through. She just sent word asking how I was doing and if I needed anything. She then gave me an opportunity to regain my bearings when I came back to Chicago. In this way, I was able to work and pursue (and achieve!) my master’s. It’s a gesture I will never forget for the rest of my life.”
ACHIEVEMENT: LISA BUTLER
Let’s congratulate our own Lisa Butler for receiving the “Leader without Borders” Award from the Chicago Department of Public Health in April! In this peer-nominated process, Lisa was voted the single one out of 30 contact tracer supervisors citywide who it was felt exemplified stellar leadership in the city’s response to COVID-19 and the role of contact tracers.
In her own words:
“I am beyond words to describe how humbled and appreciative I am of this honor, I even heard other supervisors were telling their teams to vote for me. Because COVID-19 and contact tracing were entirely new to all of us, meaning the entire world, we had to literally build the plane as we flew it and be open to the many ways which this whole process would evolve. I had the absolute best team of people. They are some of the most open, flexible, and hardest working people I have ever had the honor to work with. But, most of all I want to thank my office support person at Phalanx Family Services, Tiffany Johnson. She kept us organized, informed, and learned all our processes as if she was out in the field, too. Without her, we could not possibly have accomplished all that we did. My name may be on the certificate but this is her award, too!”
Written by Phalanx Family Services Staff
Images Courtesy of Phalanx Family Services