I have extensive experience in public relations work relevant to education and outreach. Specific areas of expertise include:
- Public speaking
- Grant Admission
- Budget forecasting
- Technical report writing
- Project development and supervision
- Government and legislative communication.
Entry Level Councilor 2013-Current Credo Women’s Residence Watertown, NY
Owner, Manager 2008-2013 Whispering Angel Retail Store Watertown, NY
Vocational Instructor 2010-2011 Office of Children and Family Services McCormick Secure Center Brooktondale, NY
Social Welfare Examiner 2007-2010 Jefferson County Dept. of Social Services, Watertown, NY
Nutrition Educator 2001-2007 Cornell Cooperative Extension, Watertown, NY
Education and Certification
AAS Business –Business May 2000: Jefferson Community College, Watertown, NY
Servsafe Manager Trainer Certification 2011: International Food Safety Council/Restraunt Council Jefferson Community College, Watertown, NY
Family Development Credential 2001: Excelsior College/Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County Watertown, NY
Nutrition Certification 1999: The Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant Association Jefferson Community College, Watertown, NY
After receiving my certification on nutrition, I was hired at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County as a nutrition program educator. The position is designed for individuals who have completed the required training and can demonstrate the ability to perform the required duties with competence. As a Nutrition program educator, I was required to maintain a continual system of recruitment, enrolling, evaluating and graduating families in “Eat Smart and live Well” education program, which was grant funded. Under the supervision of the program coordinator, I was required to work with targeted families and adults to improve their diets as well as resource management by utilizing teaching techniques from training. I did well in advising homemakers individually as well as in small groups in areas of nutrition and food selection, how to plan and prepare a well balanced meal, how to do their shopping and storage of food as well as matters related to food safety. I was able to use well the required nutrition program curricula in preparing, teaching and evaluating lessons. During my time, I was able to maintain records and completed reports as required as a way of evaluating the progress.
Throughout my working experience as a nutrition program educator, I developed an ability to work independently, make independent decisions and attend to details as I delegate tasks. My ability to work under pressure enabled me to organize my work and handle administrative details with ease. I have the ability to organize my workload, as well as establishing priorities as required by the nutrition association. As required by the position, I have an extensive knowledge in basic cooking skills, knowledge of the community I work in, knowledge in reading and writing English and basic arithmetic, and ability to talk in front of a group. Besides meeting the requirements such as a high school diploma and an associate degree, I showed extensive ability to meet travel requirements.
As a nutrition program educator, I had to know and abide by the association’s personal policies and complete the UCHS certification. I also managed to work with and guide other individuals who I came into contact as I have always expressed much interest in helping others. My ability for verbal discussions enabled me to make various explanations in uncomplicated terms. I also showed ability to accept and work according to directions and supervisions. My duty required one to be clean and neat in appearance, a special requirement that I still hold to date. To accomplish the tasks as a nutrition program educator, I had to have a considerable knowledge of the local and the global environment. I learned the principles and methods planning public education projects and administering the program. I gain much experience in presenting classroom instructions and facilitating discussion sessions. My job enabled me to become more skillful in planning, coordinating, and evaluating programs as well as events. It is at this position that I received my first experience in awareness campaigns, conduct educational conference and workshops, and serving as a liaison between the necessary officials. My first opportunity to establish relationship with the community, work closely with top officials, working with homeowner groups and educators, was made possible by this position.
One year later, I was offered a position as a social welfare examiner at Jefferson County Dept. of Social Services, in Watertown, NY. The position was entirely for interviewing and investigating applicants and recipients in order to determine their eligibility to use the social programs and services. Main duties included recording and evaluating personal data obtained from individuals, including their financial data, and initiate procedures to grants. I was also tasked with authorizing grant amounts and come up with reports. The position had specialized training to enable in assisting social service caseworkers. In my new position, I managed to select and refer applicants who proved to be eligible to public assistance without any discrimination. I was also able to prepare regular and special reports, keep record of assigned cases, and submission of individual recommendations. In my position, I was also able to compute public housing rent in proportion to the income of eligible tenants. I was also able to assist applicants in completing their routine intake and personnel forms. I was also tasked with conducting annual and special housing reviews, and conduct home visits to ensure that they conform to regulations. As a social welfare examiner, I was able to explain eligibility requirements, requirements for form completion, financial assistance from community resources, opportunities for housing and selection methods of tenants to various eligible individuals. I was also tasked with reviewing of training approval forms for completeness and accuracy, including the payment vouchers. My other work was interpreting and explaining the rules and regulations that govern the eligibility and grants, methods of payments and legal rights of the applicants. In more occasions, I received and recorded security deposits and advance rents from selected tenants.
A number of activities were involved in this position, which included getting of information through observation and from relevant source, and processing and verifying the gathered information. Analyzing the data was also part of the many activities of which I was able to identify the underlying principles, reasons or facts of the information by breaking down the information into parts. I was also able to assist and show care to other people on various issues. Interpreting the meaning of information to other people was also part of my work activities so that it can be used with ease. I was also able to evaluate the gathered information so that I can ensure that they comply with the required standards. This was possible through the use of individual judgments and relevant information to determine whether the processes comply with the relevant laws. I was able to identify the educational needs of various individuals and develop formal educational programs. I was also involved in working directly with the public, including serving customers in various settings such as restaurants and stores, and receiving guests. As a social welfare examiner, I developed a number of skills which have been integral to my success. For instance, I developed skills in active listening, writing skills, judgment and decision making, as well as social perceptiveness skills. I was also able to speak to individuals in an effective manner to convey the required information. The position did not require much, but one has to have knowledge of the structure and content of English language, which included meaning and spelling of words.
In my current position with Credo Women’s Residence, I assisted with variety of administrative work. I am an entry level councilor responsible for completing and overseeing a number of professional assignments to provide vocational rehabilitation guidance to people with various issues. Additionally, as an entry level councilor, I do my assignments while also learning the methods of the work. My position required that I provide counseling and guidance to clients regarding vocational choices. I also analyzed and interpret the pertinent educational, social, psychological, as well as vocational information that are relative to the applicants so as to determine their level of interest, motivation and scholastic achievement. Io also tasked with determining the eligibility of clients and their need for rehabilitation services. I also develop comprehensive rehabilitation plan for individuals. At my current position, I also participate in job development and placement programs; maintain contact with prospective employers as well as follow up the placed clients. I have had an opportunity to work with the community to establish facilities and programs to assist those in need within the society. I maintain records and prepare reports and correspondence that are related to my work.
My current position as an entry level councilor requires some basic knowledge such as the principles and methods of rehabilitation training. I have managed to have knowledge indifferent cultures as my line of duty has enabled me to meet people from different ethnic groups. I have also learned the ability to apply casework and testing techniques to obtain and analyze information and make service plans as well as follow-up activities. I posses the ability to work with professional and technical personnel in particular areas of employment. I also posses the spirit of maintaining public relations that are favorable as I maintain records and prepare reports and correspondence that are related to work activities.
Most of my knowledge has come from practical experience. Thus, I believe that by continuing my education, the skills that I now possess will be complimented, and that my future capabilities will be broaden. My goal academically is to have a degree in social service. Professionally, I hope to remain in the public sector and continue my services to the needy community. I believe that completing the degree program, my career options will be increased such that I will become an important to the public.
The pursuit of a degree in social sciences will be in line with my skills as well as academic expertise. It will equally be in line with my learning goals. As a student, I am looking forward at securing career in the future in the field of social sciences. There are a number of activities and experiences that has increased my passion for a career in this field. I have discovered that I do hold high level skills that are required by employers in the industry. Employers are calling for students to apply in nutrition educator careers. As an educator, I understand that one needs to be able to adapt to diverse teaching environments. Such teaching environments include homes, schools as well as communities. Over the years, my outgoing natures have significantly enhanced my ability to interact in diverse environments as well as to learn in such environments. I am equally able to foster a good relationship that fosters learning. This is critical for individuals who are gong to become nutrition educators as well as educators in other fields. From, my ability to teach has improved significantly. I am very passionate in sharing knowledge as well as in educating the society, a skill that I would like to hone by engaging in a degree program in social sciences.
Over the years, I have always believed in team work. I am convinced that I can always achieve more by working as a team rather than by working independently. This skill will significantly propel my career in social sciences. By working with communities, I will get a good opportunity for fostering my ability to help the community through team work.
One of my motivating factors in pursuing this course is my life and career goals. One of my main goals is to improve the living standards of the society upon the completion of my course. This came from the realization that many people in the society live in bad conditions just because of lack of knowledge. For instance, many people do have money in society to purchase food items. In spite of this, they often end up buying food that do not contribute to their well being, with many often preferring junk food. There will thus be a need for sensitization of such people in society to engage in activities that facilitate good living. Over the years, I have engaged at personal as well as group level in making informed decisions.
Today, many people are dying in various countries out f hunger. This is happening in spite of the existence of viable economic activities that they should engage in. In many countries where thus is happening, such countries are highly endowed with natural resources at their disposal that they can use to avert the crises. This has created a need to engage professionals’ social sciences in improving the life of such people. Degree program in social sciences will significantly enhance attainment of my goals in my professional life. Based on my past performance in the college, I m convinced that I have what it takes to lead a successful career in social sciences.
The public have the ultimate decision on the future of public services. The only question that requires an answer is how they plan to do it: by coming out as active participants in robust and informed debates or by passively allow other people to make decisions for them. I have been motivated by the need to maintain focus on people in an environment dominated by fiscal crisis and pressures. Without proper understanding of what the public want and value, as well as their relationship with the services they are currently being offered, it would be difficult to design future services that will fit the lives being lived in the society, as well as developing the capabilities that a community needs to fulfill their aspirations. I have a feeling that the public wants a level playing field in an otherwise unequal society. I like the idea free access to support from public services regardless of the geographical or social background without any prejudice. The concern for equal access to public services is such that those in needs should be able to access the support they require. The public concern is also such that none of the fellow citizens should have access to more support than they are entitled to. This issue is posing a serious threat top the service providers, especially at this time when public resources are diminishing. The social service work is that field that aims at improving the lives of the needy. Even though the field is considered as a low paying career, I am motivated by the need the client’s lives, which without a social worker, their conditions would significantly worsen. To me, the choice of this career path is a calling given the fact that I have for many years involved in teaching and counseling duties. I would say that environmental factors have played an important role in my choice of career goal. However, my great motivation comes from the care-taking role within my family, as well as the optical bonding experiences with my parents.
I have had an opportunity to see many helping professional reports, especially role reversals in childhood. The reports indicated that inadequacies in a parent, commonly emotional, lead the parents to seek support from their children in ways that are not expected in a considered healthy family. For many years through my career path, I have seen children taking on the roles that are reserved for their parents, from domestic to emotional ones. In many cases, children act like parents to their parents. Such cases makes the children become attuned to the emotional needs of their parents, as well as other children in their families. As these children grow up, they keep the roles and hone the skills, and in many cases extend the roles beyond their families. Such circumstances normally gravitates them towards social service career. My choice for social service career path is however not as a result of extending the childhood roles and an attempt to come into terms with my own hurts and disappointments. My career profession has been due to environmental conditions that have forced me into understanding the pains that others undergo, and those who seek help for familial dysfunctions so that they can understand their own pains and recover from it.
I have worked, and still working in a helping profession where I have more tangible experiences. My past and current positions have enabled me to come in contact with people in the same profession. These have been a motivation as I have seen the benefit of engaging in other people’s lives, especially in those who come from poor families. I have also come in contact with those who want to secure welfare benefits and housing, as this normally require enduring large amount of contacts with social workers. As I have been carrying out my duties as a social welfare examiner, I have had much opportunity in examining the living conditions of different types of families. Throughout my activities, I learnt that there is a wide social gap in accessing the welfare system. For instance, families that are better financially normally do not have to endure the experiences in accessing social services. This is what needs to change as I seek to pursue my degree in social service. As a public worker, I have a higher level of intrinsic motivation than private. I believe that this motivation will be an important determinant outcome in a range of public service sector.