Staff Spotlight: Jessica!
I am from a little town called Perkasie, about 40 minutes from Philadelphia. Moved to the Lancaster County to go to university at Millersville after completing 2 years at the Bucks County Community College. In May 2018, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and have been putting it to work here at Tabor ever since.
How did you get involved with Tabor? What do you do at Tabor?
I started out at Tabor as an intern. After looking through a long list of organizations and agencies, I picked a few out to look at more closely. When I viewed Tabor’s website, I was so intrigued by the values and work that they did, I knew I had to see what they were all about. Thankfully after interviewing for the internship I was picked to spend the next 6 months as an intern in the Community Housing Solutions program under the best supervisor, Laura Wilmer. As my last semester in college was wrapping up, I was sad that my time at Tabor was too, but that’s when I saw the best thing that could have happened. A member of the Community Homeless Assessment and Referral Team was starting a new journey in Ohio and I took this as a sign that my journey at Tabor was not over yet. I was so lucky when I got called back for a second interview for the position after applying for the opening and was able to spend 6 weeks with the old CHART Worker, Chaska, before wishing her luck on her new journey and taking over the great work she left behind. Here I am today, after spending a year here at Tabor and still loving every minute of it.
What do you like most about working at Tabor?
Coming to work at Tabor everyday does not feel like a job, it feels like a privilege. The atmosphere here at Tabor is one filled with love and hopefulness. My co-workers at Tabor feel like more of a family and less like fellow employees. Everyday there are new stories and laughter shared to make my job feel more like a dream.
What is most rewarding about your job; what makes it all worthwhile?
Working at Tabor and meeting with the individuals we see every day make this job all worth it. I enjoy listening to all of the stories no matter how touching they are, I enjoy being able to listen and hopefully make a bit of a difference in their future story.
What’s one moment that stood out to you?
There are 2 sides of things that stand out. One with my fellow co-workers, and one with the clients. With my co-workers, one thing that has stood out to me the most is the thoughtfulness of everyone in the building. I remember being out sick one day and the moment I came back every person I spoke to asked me how I was feeling. It shows really how much everyone cares about each other, again making the workplace feel more of a family. Something that has really touched me about working with my clients, is the different attitudes I come across. One young girl I met with a few months ago had the most amazing outlook on her situation. I remember her story like she shared it yesterday. This client was about 19 years old and had a 5 month old son. Her son was able to sleep indoors with the father at his mom’s house, but due to their religion she was unable to sleep there because they were unmarried. It was the middle of winter and she was sleeping outside in a parking garage. The thing that stood out most about this story is when she told me, “This is just another chapter in my story, a new adventure that I am going to get through. Every night pushes me to do better for my son and create a better story for our future.” The way that she looked at her story was amazing, she was able to hold on to the hope that she will change her circumstances and make things better and the last time I spoke with her was when she was getting into TLC.
Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?
I have traveled to the Dominican Republic 3 times. The first time I visited, was the best trip of my life. My family and I stopped at the dollar store before we left the states and gathered different care products, hair accessories, coloring books, and toys for an excursion we were taking to the local school and cocoa farm. Spending just a few hours with the kids at the school has been a memory I will never forget and why I fell in love with the Dominican Republic. I have been back 2 times since then and plan for many more in the future.
What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
I love to be outdoors. Hiking, gardening, reading a book in the sun, and playing with my family dogs outside are just a few of the activities I like to do once the weather gets a bit warmer.
If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life - what would it be?
TACOS. I love making and eating some homemade tacos. I use a vegan substitute for the meat and mix with some refried and black beans. Adding some mushrooms, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and some of Diya’s shredded cheese makes the perfect taco. I also love adding some homemade guacamole on top to tie it all together in a soft tortilla shell.
“If you were born with the weakness to fall, you were born with the strength to rise” – Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey
“Our backs tell stories no books have the spine to carry.” – Rupi Kaur