LEAD Academy Reflection
I thought the LEAD Academy was over after our presentation on April 17. This tells you how much I know. But this was a good thing. How many of you know what sociometry really means?
I have heard of the word sociometry and read the definition, yet I still didn’t quite get it. While studying the relationship between social structures and psychological wellbeing, Psychiatrist Jacob Moreno coined the term sociometry. Sociometry is a quantitative method measuring social interpersonal relationships. Mari Pat McGuire began the class by talking about how to shift the culture, make connections, and bring people together by believing in a mission. Two people who exemplify these characteristics are Nelson Mandela and the nation’s rugby team and Abraham Lincoln in naming his rivals to his Cabinet.
To begin a sociometric exercise it is important at the beginning for everyone to understand that by choosing one person they are not rejected others. Instead, it should be noted that people are often attracted to others, but rarely have the opportunity to tell them about it. Each of these choices is an interpersonal gift to that other person, as stated by Alton Barbour.
We did a number of exercises. Mari Pat announced criterion, such as who here seems to have qualitites or traits that you would like to see in yourself? We were then told to go to that person and place our hand on their shoulder. While this is in action, the person they chose will also be choosing someone based on the same criterion. Because of the choices, it can be expected to be unequally distributed. Each choice might lead to the formation of a small group or a chain of choices. Once the choices were made, Mari Pat suggested that we talk with that person about why that person fits that particular criterion for attraction. It was interesting to see how the group dynamics worked.
We also discussed “work atoms”-- communication in interpersonal relationships. This was illustrated through a diagram that represented the relationship between the self and all individuals or issues with whom we are emotionally related. The diagram begins with you in the middle with a circle surrounded by hearts, representing hope, wishes and dreams; squares representing committees; and rectangles representing issues/concerns. The placement of these diagrams to the circle depicts the need to communicate now or later. If the hearts and committees are near the circle, then communication lines are open and good; if the diagram, like the rectangle is far away from circle, you may have work life challenges with staff, peer or others that need to be addressed now. This is a tool that you could use now to measure your effectiveness.
Next, Mari Pat presented us with a poem on leadership by Adrienne Rich. We read the poem several times, and then were asked that each person should repeat out loud a word or portion that speaks to them and explain. I selected the phrase, “remembering your name.” The most important and memorable of my experience in the LEAD Academy has been the people I met.
Pat Bennett is a Manager of Employment Services at Our Daily Bread Employment Center and a Fellow in the LEAD Academy Class of 2015. Her position includes managing a team of four, negotiating employment opportunities with potential employers, and providing job readiness trainings to low income clients. Supporting her in this journey, among others, are her supervisor, Christine Kay, and her mentor, Susan Franklin.
Maria Busko Graduates from Leadership Baltimore County
Volunteer Services Manager Maria Busko has completed the ten month Leadership Baltimore County (LBC) program and recently received her diploma in a ceremony held at the historic Grey Rock Mansion in Pikesville.
Along with about 35 other senior level leaders selected in a competitive application process from many different organizations in Baltimore County, Maria went through a series of experiential activities that explored Baltimore County’s challenges and issues, including economic development, public safety, social services, education and health. Leadership Baltimore County activities include field trips to different organizations, police ride-alongs, shadowing a school principal and working at a shelter. The program is designed to utilize the talents of the participants to make Baltimore County a better place to live and work and to enhance each participant’s leadership skills.
Maria successfully completed all of the requirements of the program and is now applying what she learned in her work at Catholic Charities.
Farewell to Jen Lochte and Welcome Sara Ross
We say goodbye to Jen Lochte who is leaving her position as the Program Supervisor of the Towson Clinic to move to North Carolina. Jen accomplished many things in the agency, first in the Residential Treatment Center, then as a pioneer in school based mental health services, and for many years as the manager of our behavioral health clinics in Anne Arundel County and Towson. Everyone who met her will say that she was always pleasant and positive, but many of us also have deep respect for the skill Jen showed while facing very challenging situations and while accomplishing so much. She is tough and resilient as rubber nails and made a positive difference for hundreds of children, adults and family members.
Sara Ross, LCSW-C is the new manager at the Towson clinic. Sara also has a background in Residential Treatment services, and has an extensive background providing school based mental health services and clinic services to individuals and families in the Parkville, Loch Raven, and Towson communities. Sara is known for her poise, clinical skill and perseverance. She is a strong advocate for families, and is one of less than a dozen therapists in the state who are trained in Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), which is an evidenced based practice that serves children ages 3-8 with significant behavior problems. Sara will be working along with Bonnie Pfeffer and colleagues to take the Towson clinic services to the next level, both growing the clinic in the number served, and enhancing the outcomes. We are looking forward to having Sara as a leader, a colleague and a coach.
Because of Catholic Charities Blood Drive on June 11, up to 78 patients' lives were saved. Blood donation is the act of giving life. Every donation can save up to 3 lives. During the summer months fewer people donate. This year we had a 37% increase in donors from 2014!!!
So a Big THANK YOU to all who participated in making this year’s blood drive a HUGE SUCCESS.
LEAD Academy Reflection
Let me start by saying I have never been to the aquarium without children and I had a completely different experience during the LEAD field trip than anytime I have ever been there in the past. One Fellow felt guilty for having so much fun there without her children. I felt completely relaxed, which I do not get to experience a great deal with a 4 and a 7 year old at home.
It started as any other day, anticipating another exciting field trip arranged for us by the LEAD Committee. The National Aquarium was to be even more special because it would be our last trip together before commencement, and the Aquarium administrators are developing their own leadership program for their employees based on Catholic Charities’ LEAD program, which is an enormous compliment. They picked our brains about how to go about developing it in a way which supports the expansion of world-renowned programs here in Baltimore and supports the staff making it happen.
Our day started in the 4D theatre where we watched “Sea Monsters.” It was more of an experience than a movie viewing. Water and wind sprayed us at various parts of the movie, and we were educated about the life of “Dolly,” a prehistoric sea creature whose bones had been discovered in 1812 in Kansas.
We met a Hyacinth McCaw who said “hello” and only visits with guests because she is not on display at the Aquarium. She works throughout each day with various trainers so as not to get attached to any one in particular and practices skills which make her better able to respond to emergency medical procedures if ever needed, such as putting on an oxygen mask. The trainer who introduced us to the McCaw, Christine, was a delight as she was so passionate about her work.
We were then free to explore the aquarium on our own and the same approach was taken in the dolphin training experience that Christine facilitated with the McCaw. They cancelled the dolphin shows a few years ago and now educate the public at various times throughout the day about the training the dolphins experience, which helps them thrive in the aquarium environment. Their rewards for practicing their fin movements consist of pushing balls with their noses and eating fish. The staff told us they make changes in programming according to feedback received from attendees and this seems to have been a positive change as the dolphin experience is now included in the price of admission.
The National Aquarium also had to adjust and make changes in programming due to attendance levels which were negatively impacted by the curfew imposed as a result of riots that took place in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray on April 19, 2015. The negative image Baltimore has received in the aftermath has affected tourism and businesses that rely on worldwide attention have suffered. Our 2015 theme “Leadership under Fire” has been applicable to the Aquarium during the attendance shortfalls in April and they appear to have handled it with grace, being as truthful with concerned guests as possible. Guests have been calling prior to their planned visits, asking if they would be safe. The Aquarium has been making assurances, but the numbers do not lie. The Aquarium may have to sacrifice future programming if attendance does not pick up, so I would encourage everyone in and near Baltimore to take a trip to local businesses which rely on tourism.
One of the newest additions to the National Aquarium is the touch exhibit which opened on May 12, 2015. Guests are encouraged to touch jellyfish and sting rays in order to feel their skin and educators are on hand for any questions. The exhibit is bright and seems to have filled a once empty space from which it is still easy to view the black-tipped reef below. It surprised me how nervous I was to touch an animal, but I quickly encourage my children when they have the opportunity to experience something live up-close and personal. I was glad to have a different experience at the National Aquarium and plan to take my children again soon so they can see the new exhibits that were not there when they went last summer.
I was completely surprised how relaxing my experience was. I encourage you to go by yourself sometime to the National Aquarium and to listen to the soothing music, reflect on the movement of the water, take in the beauty of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, and appreciate our connection to the ocean. It will surely help you become a better leader in your own right.
Kerry Ford Morancy is a Therapist at the Fallstaff outpatient mental health clinic and a Fellow in the LEAD Academy Class of 2015. Kerry works mainly at Pimlico Elementary/Middle school providing individual and family counseling and prevention activities such as small groups and teacher presentations. Supporting her in this journey, among others, are her supervisor, Sherry Sullivan, and her mentor, Kristen Kinkopf of Mission Integration and Planning.
Living the Mission | To Serve
“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40
It is remarkable how often I experience some vivid reminder of how our team lives the mission of Catholic Charities. Many time these reminders come in the form of a success story, where our staff helped someone to reach an amazing goal. Sadly, sometimes these reminders come in the form of a tragedy, where our team goes above and beyond to support those who have experienced a loss. My most recent reminder was, unfortunately, one of these events.
Our HOPE program, part of our Treatment Foster Care program through Center for Family Services, works with infants and children in the foster care system that have medical needs requiring intensive attention from specially-trained treatment foster parents, nurses and social workers. The ultimate goal of the HOPE Program is to provide children with a nurturing, stabile placement while their health is stabilized and their permanency plan is addressed. Many HOPE children are reunified with their birth families, while others are placed for adoption. Tragically, on occasion a child succumbs to their illnesses while they are with us, and the most we can do is to make sure that each day they have is the best it can be.
It is overwhelming for me when I sit and reflect on how special the foster parents are who make this commitment, to welcome a foster child into their home, to fill that child with love as a member of the family, to take care of their every need, and hopefully nurture that child to good health. Then, in the worst scenario, to spend days and weeks at a child’s bedside as their illness overcomes them and they slowly slip away. And they don’t do this alone…they are surrounded by our staff of social workers and nurses from the HOPE program and CFS.
It becomes very clear that people don’t live the mission of Catholic Charities because this is their job…this is who they are before they ever come to Catholic Charities, and when people arrive here they find a common bond in being surrounded by others sharing these same values. There are no words to describe how humbled I am to be surrounded by such amazing people who give of themselves beyond what anyone could expect of them.
Thanks to everyone for doing what you do.
Kevin Keegan Director, Child and Family Services Division Catholic Charities of Baltimore
|Page 1 of 17|
|Cherishing the Divine Within|