“Be the person who takes the initiative,” is the credo by which Sha’de Norman lives and works. It’s also the advice she would give to her co-workers. Sha’de is the Residential Staff Lead for the residents of the Hiawatha home. Sha’de, her co-workers, and the four ladies in their care have adjusted well to their new temporary housing arrangement while they await the extensive repairs being made to the Hiawatha group home, after it suffered extensive damage from a severe storm.
With Sha’de, caring for others started when she looked after her ailing grandmother. She has been in the field for three years, two of them at Advancing Opportunities. Starting out part time on the overnight shift, through hard work and initiative, Sha’de earned the promotion to her current position. Above all, her daytime hours allow for more time with the ladies. Sha’de says she loves seeing the residents in her care taking pleasure in various community outings, as well as celebrating birthdays with the residents at other homes. “You get to build a good rapport with the individuals,” she says, adding, “You see how their lifestyle changes through my assistance.”
One night. a fierce storm struck, felling a huge tree, which caused severe damage to the group home at which she works. Thankfully, everyone escaped safely! Shaleice Jenkins, the senior manager was away on vacation at the time. However, even during her break, she knew the Hiawatha ladies were in good hands. “She was phenomenal in handling all staffing concerns in my absence.” “She handled everything like a manager,” says Shaleice, adding that all this is “a step forward, a step toward becoming a residential manager.”