Our Employee Spotlight is on Katrina Lott! In her 14 years with the Shelter, Katrina has served in many roles and continues to be the go-to person to step in wherever she is needed. In her current role as Operations Manager, her training and support is invaluable to our Case Managers and Youth Care Team.
What is your favorite part about your job? My favorite part about my job has always been the kids I have had the privilege to get to know. From rocking babies in the Nursery to taking teenagers to appointments, getting to know them as individuals has consistently been my favorite. Each one has a story, but they are so much more than that. They may be your child’s classmate, your neighbor’s grandchild, or someone you will never encounter personally, but they are all “our” children. Getting to know them has always been a privilege.
Share your favorite kid moment: I have many favorite kid moments, but one that comes to mind concerns a 2-1/2-year-old boy with autism. He came to us dirty, aloof and unsmiling. We had a swing hung up in a doorway for him and I spent hours upon hours swinging him, talking to him, teaching him a baby sign or two. One day he was sitting on my lap in the playroom and I was trying to engage him in a game of “peekaboo.” It was going as it always had, with his passive participation, until he suddenly covered his eyes on his own. He removed them, looked straight into my eyes, and smiled. It was the first time he had made eye contact and shown any pleasure in what we were doing. This little boy stayed with us for almost two months and it was a joy to watch him transition from spending most of his time in the swing to playing beside the other children, jabbering and having a good time.
How do the Shelter’s programs impact children?The Shelter’s programs impact children every day by providing a consistent, stable environment where they can begin to relax and form relationships with safe adults. They get three meals and snacks each day. For some of them, this means having enough food for the first time in their lives. They get to go to the dentist and get aching teeth fixed, or to the optometrist and get glasses. Little things most of us take for granted, but things that impact daily life. How can you focus in school if your mouth hurts all the time or everything is blurry? They go on outings, learn new skills, have their own allowance to spend. In short, the programs at NWACS allow them to be what they should be: healthy, safe, happy and loved.