Eight years ago, Renee was a certified nursing assistant on her way to becoming a Licensed Practitioner Nurse, but felt her heart taking a different path.
She and her 2-year-old son attended a Play & Learn Group at Children’s Home Society of Washington (CHSW). After joining the group, Renee felt compelled to know more about CHSW.
Staff at CHSW observed her positively interact with families and offered her a position in child care. Renee put nursing on hold and decided to focus her career with CHSW.
“Being a woman of color and having challenges in my life, I came from a family similar to those we serve at CHSW,” Renee said. “My mother left when I was young and I raised my brother, who is now 20. I connected with the Lake City community and felt I understood their needs.”
Renee really enjoyed working closely with local families and helping nurture their children. She was given the opportunity to work with the Parent Child home visiting program, helping parents learn how to boost their child’s development through fun and play activities. She also managed the front desk staff at the North Seattle Family Resource Center.
“As a long-time staff member I have gained tools on how to be a better mom to my son, who is now 11, my 18-year-old daughter and my brother,” Renee said. “Looking back, the CHSW home visiting training I received is one of the best experiences in my life.”
Renee is currently a program supervisor at the North Seattle Family Resource Center and manages their youth and teen programs and the computer lab while also guiding the family support specialists and organizing family events.
She also co-facilitates Powerful Voices, a youth group for girls ages 12-18 that teaches them how to advocate for themselves and support social justice. During the holidays, Renee continues her work, by engaging local donors to adopt families fulfilling their toy and clothing wish lists.
“At the end of the day my goal is to help people succeed in all areas of life,” Renee said. “CHSW staff have a passion to partner with children and their families, and provide them with the support services they need to feel strong together.”
“I built a relationship with the children at the NSFRC and I get to see them grow and learn,” Renee said. “I’m very proud that I get to be a positive influence for them along with their dedicated parents.”
Jennifer Parsons is the marketing communications manager for CHSW.