I'm not writing this week's message. Not because I'm lazy or tired, but rather because I'm proud. I'm proud of our organization and our employees. I'm proud of the leadership and dedication to service so many of you show each and every day. In recognition and celebration of that, this message is written by April Munks, who works in our Bend office.
April Munks, DHS Bend office
April recently graduated from our Aspiring Leaders Program. The program provides our employees with leadership skills, develops their talents, and helps cultivate the next generation of leaders for DHS and for Oregon. Her newly learned leadership skills will soon be put to good use; April was named as a trainer for the Oregon Safety Model in central and eastern Oregon.
Last week I attended the graduation ceremony for our latest class of aspiring leaders. Some of the graduates read one of their assignments, an essay titled "This I Believe" in which they were asked to share personal stories that describe the core values that guide their daily lives. What follows is an excerpt form the essay April read that day:
"When speaking of power, most people immediately conjure up images ranging from CEOs in posh offices discussing their billion-dollar business to politicians passing new laws. The truth of the matter is we all have levels of power to affect other people's lives. We have routine opportunities to use or abuse our power. We can choose to be kind to the man braving the elements while he fills our tank of gas. We can choose to complain loudly to the harried waitress who forgot to refill our cup of coffee.
"I work with adults who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. Many of them have their children placed in foster care. Some will never regain the right to parent their own children. The clients I work with are frequently looked down upon in society as a group of people who are not worthy of a second chance, which is an abuse of power in and of itself. I have the power to help them change their lives.
Priscilla Cuddy and Stephanie Holmes teaching.
"I explain confusing jargon and processes to my clients so they feel less afraid when they enter the courtroom. I connect my clients with the drug and alcohol treatment they need in order to get their children back. I arrange payments for treatment they need but cannot afford. I treat them with respect. I encourage them. I listen.
"Like most other people, I may not have the most power in the world but I am not powerless. I help my clients on the road to recovery. I help them regain custody of their children. I help them get a second chance. I help my clients regain power in their lives."
-- April Munks