New Year, New Job: The Faces of Human Services

Published: January 9, 2020

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Working in human services is challenging yet rewarding work.

“Every day a client tells you good job and how much they appreciate you. It’s amazing to watch people grow, and know you’re a part of that growth,” says Molli Marshall, program director of Bridgewell’s Kelly J. Martin day program.

Molli Marshall’s career at Bridgewell began three and a half years ago when she was hired as a Development Specialist, working directly with people who have developmental disabilities and mental health challenges. Since then, Marshall has been promoted several times, and is now a program director. Her job involves assisting staff in creating groups that teach social skills, budgeting, human rights, healthy living and other life skills. Marshall’s caseloads at Bridgewell have been geared toward managing different behavioral issues.

Dana, 36, a participant in Bridgewell’s Roseway program, undoubtedly benefitted from his interactions with Marshall. Before they started working together, Dana struggled with behaviors often yelling and sometimes escalating to the point of physical aggression. But when he met Marshall, something just clicked.

“We both like WWE, and that’s how I was able to break the ice with him,” said Marshall.

In the two years Dana worked with Marshall, his instances of aggression significantly decreased until he eventually showed no signs of aggression at all. He went from not participating in groups to being able to sit in and participate. He progressed to no longer needing certain types of behavioral support.

“Getting to know the people and building relationships with people like Dana is by far the most rewarding part of the job. It is amazing to be an important person in their lives,” said Marshall.

Like Marshall, there are many ways employees can make a difference in people’s lives at Bridgewell. There are more than 100 programs, an in-house training department and many opportunities for growth and development. Marshall was promoted to Program Director after just two years.

“You’re just working with people. If you’ve talked to a person, you can work here. The training department and clinical teams teach you everything you need to know from behavioral to clinical support. Even with limited experience in human services, this could become a job you love,” said Marshall.

Bridgewell and other human services agencies alike are facing a shortage of employees like Marshall, who truly want to make a difference in someone’s life. Although providing direct care for people with life challenges is not necessarily glamorous work that could involve working odd shifts and helping with tasks like bathing, cooking and cleaning – it’s work that is absolutely crucial to caring for our most vulnerable population in the community.

“People who work with us and interact with the people we serve on a daily basis are emotionally invested. They put their heart and soul into the job,” said Georgana Tocco, recruitment manager at Bridgewell.

Tocco says Bridgewell employees are truly valued and offered a great benefits package, paid time off and a union environment, which some other non-profits do not offer. You can find more information about employment opportunities at Bridgewell at: https://www.bridgewell.org/careers/