Audrey graduated with a BS in Business Administration and worked in Washington, DC for the Student Loan Marketing Association (Sallie Mae) as an analyst. She returned to graduate school and earned a Master’s in Industrial and Labor Relations. Recruited by Chevron Corporation for the Human Resources Management Development Program, she was assigned to a number of business units throughout the company and worked in a variety of HR functional areas. After taking time off to raise a family and volunteer in the community, Audrey eventually returned to work at Youth Homes as the Director of Human Resources. In a short amount of time, her heart was captured by the mission and the amazing people associated with Youth Homes.
my best day at youth homes
Over the more than 7+ years that I have worked here, there have been a number of “bests” that I will NEVER forget.
One that comes to mind was a weekday in late November about 2 ½ years ago when I had an opportunity to visit Pryor. One of the younger clients was home from school getting her things together in preparation for moving on to a more permanent placement.
After I arrived, the girl followed me and Margie, the Residential Supervisor around the house for a few minutes. Finally, she decided that she wanted to show me the beautiful new dresses that “Miss Margie” had bought for her and her favorite doll to wear during a “meet and greet” with potential foster parents.
She was scared and anxious about meeting these two strangers. Staff were very concerned about how this important visit with foster parent candidates would go. Margie found the outfits for her and her doll – just the thing needed for a boost of confidence. The client also asked if I would like her to make a book for me. While she went off to get out her art materials, Margie explained how she had searched everywhere but had finally found the dress and matching outfit for her doll. Margie also showed me an iPad “knock-off” that she had been able to get at a bargain price. This was on the client’s Christmas wish list.
Margie explained that she had told the client that a tablet was really too expensive and was not likely to be one of the gifts she received. After I pressed her on how she managed to get the tablet, Margie told me she had waited in line at the crack of midnight on Black Friday to buy that tablet on sale for the client.
Now Margie was sad that the client would not be at Pryor for Christmas. She told me that she was going to miss this client and knew the little girl was going to miss Pryor…a lot. To help with the transition, Margie decided that she would wrap up the tablet and give it to the client at the last minute so she would be distracted during what was going to be a very difficult “good-bye.” At that moment, I was reminded that working at Youth Homes with staff as caring and dedicated as Miss Margie, is a privilege and an honor. I wish I could have seen the child’s face when she unwrapped that gift.