We are pleased to announce that Anaiya Daniels has been named the new Elementary Teacher at the Shelter’s On-Site School. Anaiya has been a valued member of the Shelter team since 2015. Here in her own words, she tells the story of how her journey to help kids in crisis led her to the Shelter.
“I have been with the shelter since July of 2015. Prior to working here, I was a preschool teacher for three years in a similar setting, working with kids who were referred by DHS either because they had previously been in care or because the family was receiving services in hopes of avoiding that. I loved my job and working with this population of children because I connected with the kids easily due to my own personal experiences with the foster care and adoption system as a child. The program I was employed with decided to go a different direction, so I taught 4th grade for a year and a half at a “regular” school, and my heart just wasn’t in it. It was then that I sought employment at the shelter, and from my first day here, it was like coming home. I truly believe it is my calling to work with children who have been abandoned, abused, or neglected. Every resolved meltdown, every milestone, or emotional breakthrough is cause to celebrate. The hardest kids are the ones I remember the most, the ones I have to work overtime to get a single second of connection with. It’s worth it. I make every effort to send each child I work with away with a positive message about themselves, to notice their potential, and point it out to them. I love being here for them every day and helping them grow, whether it’s learning long division, or how to be a good friend, or listening to them when they’re sad, or just being present in the moment. My heart is never empty when I go home at the end of the day. I am truly blessed to love my work, and I am excited to be back in the classroom here at the shelter, still doing what I love.”