Thursday, January 22, 2009

Coordinator Spotlight - Yolanda

Yolanda Smith, Dallas HIPPY Coordinator

aka "HIPPY Cheerleader", encouraging everyone as they scaled the rock wall at our Kick Off!

Each of our coordinators brings special talents and gifts to our team. I'd like to share Yolanda's HIPPY story! When Yolanda and I first met it was her first week on the job as a Home Instructor in Fort Worth HIPPY. She had been recruited as a parent in the program, and quickly became interested in the position of home instructor. As a former teacher in New Jersey, Yolanda wasn't our typical parent nor home visitor in that she already had her degree, but she was at a crossroads in her life and as a member of the target community in Fort Worth she was elegible for the position. She quickly took to the HIPPY philosophy and by the next year she accepted the position of HIPPY coordinator when it came open! Over the next few years Yolanda grew and expanded the Fort Worth HIPPY program, doubling it in size. Again, she was ready for a change but didn't want to leave HIPPY. When she heard of an opening in Dallas HIPPY she seized the opportunity and was accepted for the position. Once she settled in Yolanda decided to use her AmeriCorps education award she earned while a home instructor and enrolled in college again to work on her MSW degree. With her positive attitude, motivation and sense of humor she has served as an inspiration to parents, home visitors and other coordinators in Dallas, Fort Worth and beyond! She's always ready to help out with trainings and presentations, she is insightful and is one of our strongest HIPPY Cheerleaders!

In her own words, when asked what HIPPY has meant to her, "HIPPY is the most fulfilling job I have ever had. Over the years with HIPPY I have had the pleasure of meeting such a wide variety of magnificent people such as Hilary Clinton and Dr. Ruth to name a few. I have also had the pleasure of developing wonderful relationships with my colleagues and the families we serve. HIPPY has been and continues to be a blessing to my family and me."

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