The Month of March is when we take the time to celebrate our hardworking Social Workers in the community. It is not by chance that it coincides with National Disability Awareness month. We witness the lives that White Glove Social Workers touch every day, especially for those with developmental disabilities and we take the time to highlight some amongst our outstanding teams.
Felecia Vidot, LCSW
Felicia’s Career History: Felicia always had her heart to service the underprovided in the community. For years, she has been working overnight as a supervisor in a homeless shelter. It was natural for Felecia to go after a career in Special Education, becoming a special education teacher. This role also gave her plenty of awareness, bringing her to wear more hats than she imagined. The classroom introduced her to various types of issues ranging from autism, selective mutism, speech impediments, and other challenges you must learn to adapt to. Her role as a teacher was also about collaborating with the school social workers to coordinate the maximum progress. Felecia found herself inspired by the deep understanding and wide scope of knowledge the social workers have towards the suffering children, ultimately bringing her to advance her career, becoming an LCSM.
Impact: Of the many years of changing lives in various settings, Felecia feels that her current role performing home assessments as most satisfying. Her work enables her clients to receive all the adequate care to get the best quality of their life possible. Those clinical assessments can involve 372 questions in 14 different health areas. Putting it together is comprehensive; knowing that it makes an effective tool to help clients makes it rewarding.
Goals: Felecia believes that you need to give back to the community and she taught her children so as well. Though she leaves her mark in so many lives every day, she wants to touch even more people. Her goal is to go after a college level masters, to teach others, and forward her knowledge and passion even further.
Kevin Lewis, LCSW
Kevin’s Career History: Since childhood, Kevin was told by family and friends that it is obvious he is meant to be a Social Worker. When he was in junior high school, as a part of the alternative program, Kevin volunteered in a nursing home. Helping people felt fulfilling. It also served to confirm Kevin’s doubts whether he should go after the career in Social Work.
Kevin has explored multiple angles in the field, working with developmentally delayed, foster care, mentally ill and more.
Since October of ’22, Kevin is employed on a hospital psych ward with, mostly working with adolescent patients after a first-time psychotic episode, whether caused by genetics or drug abuse. Kevin always had a soft spot for troubled teens. His current role is where he is truly able to etch a difference in the in the lives of those he encounters.
Impact: Seeing Kevin in action, with all he is doing, you would never guess that this accomplished, confident young man has struggled with reading, writing and social anxiety, all the years. Only as an eighteen-year-old studying in college a friend recommended him to be evaluated for Dyslexia. The positive diagnosis finally made sense of the difficulties of his youth. Getting through school has been a challenge, but with the help of his understanding peers, and ambition he was always on par and beyond. In an uncanny coincidence, Kevin cared for an eighteen-year-old boy who grew up in the same community as Kevin did. They immediately connected. The patient showed symptoms of social anxiety and had difficulty with reading and writing. Kevin was able to identify the signs by reflecting the similarities to his own experience.
The boy has never been evaluated for Dyslexia before. Upon his recommendation, the appropriate testing was done, only to confirm that Kevin’s analysis was on target. Both the doctor’s and school were enlightened by Kevin’s recommendation which was confirmed by comprehensive testing.
Kevin sees work and home life balance as a priority to remain an effective individual. As an LCSW he realized that for a person to remain productive, health wellness, and caring for yourself is essential to continue helping others. Kevin continues to spread awareness to others.
Krystal Hartley, LCSW
Krystal’s Career History:
Krystal identified her pull towards education and a love for her community from a very young age. Her teenage years found her volunteering in different venues, learning how to promote literacy and health habits. Her mom, Beverly Buddo has always been in healthcare and lived by the quote of Doctor Maya Angelou, “They will forget what you say. They will forget what you do. But they will always remember how you made them feel.” Krystal adopted the motto, implementing it in her day to day on a personal and professional level.
As a social worker, Krystal believes it all boils down to a ripple effect of kindness. You never really know what you are doing and the kind of lasting mark you have on others. Her role enables her to give individuals with many scopes of limitations the opportunity to connect to resources they are eligible for and make those referrals, a crucial step to their transition from an inpatient setting to the community. It is all about giving people a second chance to be their best self. Many of them need the guidance on how to know the services they are eligible for. Krystal firmly believes that people feel your intention so works hard at it to stay in a positive mindset, always.
Goals: Krystal is committed to treat everyone with respect, grace and humility. Her goal is to help people elevate their voice to help break down disparities and inequalities amongst us because every person deserves their best life.
Jaqueline Wright, LCSW
Career History: Jaqueline, or Jackie as they call her, was inclined to social work by withstanding certain situations in her surroundings and seeing the impact of the social services representative. She would always envision herself doing for others what she witnessed them doing for family members. Her family already boasted a handful of teachers, nurses, and other community workers, but with her mother’s strong encouragement, she enrolled for classes in human services with a goal to become a Licensed Social Worker.
For years, she worked in a group home setting, being very demand with the patients. It was gratifying to enable them to live independently with the appropriate services.
When her mother turned ill several years ago, she came to New York to live with Jacqueline together with Jacqueline’s younger brother, who suffers from developmental disabilities. Jackie left her job to devote her time to her mom until her passing. After her mother’s death, she continued to care for her brother for three years since it took a long while for him to be OPWDD approved to receive the necessary services. This period enlightened Jaqueline to the hard time families have getting through with the assessments to obtain their services and she ached to help others in similar situations. That was when the White Glove Team got to know Jacqueline. She was determined to focus her career to work with families who need services. Her foot in the field knows of extensive responsibilities, yet Jackie is always with a smile that never wears off her face.
Impact: Being a people person, Jacqueline truly connects with families. Sometimes, the mothers of young children would send her thank you notes, for she is more than just a random Social Worker to them. Jaqueline truly gives her heart, love, and patience to make the families feel understood. The only challenge on her desk is when seeing patients in rural communities unable to obtain service providers upon being approved.
Goals: Jacque loves what she is doing and hopes to pass on her passionate approach to more people. She believes that a primary role as a Social Worker is to give encouragement when supporting the clients who truly hurt to help them withstand the most difficult of times.