Shaina Van Pelt
Shaina Van Pelt, PMP, was first introduced to foster care 15 years ago in the Netherlands. She came back to the states determined to work with foster youth in her own community. In 2009, Shaina earned a degree in Anthropology and Sociology from Mills College and joined the Youth Homes, Inc. team as a counselor. Her curiosity and need to “figure stuff out” has driven her to learn many roles within the agency. Today, she uses collaboration to identify, initiate and manage technology and accreditation projects that improve Youth Homes’ ability to provide high quality services to youth and families. When not bugging her co-workers about deadlines she enjoys consuming books in any form and getting out of town in her ‘57 Cardinal travel trailer.
What working at youth homes means to me
It means being part of a team dedicated to working with youth and their families. It means being a part of something bigger, a messy, wonderful, challenging, powerful collaboration, a synergy of youth, families, colleagues, supporters and community partners, all working to empower our youth to become healthy, confident adults.
What I’ve learned at Youth Homes
Eight years at Youth Homes taught me a whole lot, personally and professionally. I have learned the true definition of resiliency and how powerful a good sense of humor can be in the face of adversity. I have also learned the value of listening, and asking questions. Whether working with our youth and families, employees, board members, or community partners, the first step towards being an effective advocate means truly understanding the needs and solutions I’m advocating for.