February 2019 – Mikala Martin
Mikala has been with The Arc since 2009. She is currently our Program Manager at the Work Center.
Employee Q & A
What brought you to The Arc of Gibson County?
My sister worked for the agency and really loved her job and it sounded like something I wanted to be a part of.
What do you like most about your job?
I love interacting with the consumers. Either one on one or at our social activities where they cut lose and really have a good time.
Who’s your role model?
My mother, who died at the very young age of 44. She was the rock of our entire family. She was real. We grew up not having much as far as material things are concerned but what we did have she would share with anyone who needed it. Our home was not fancy or large but if someone was going through a hard time and needed a place to stay, my mom would take them in. Rather it be an individual or an entire family it didn’t matter. They needed help and she was there.
What’s one thing not many people know about you?
I sing. I’ve sang at many weddings through the years as well as funerals and special events. I played Rizzo in our high school performance of Grease and I played Ms. Hannigan in Annie.
What’s your favorite thing about working at The Arc of Gibson County?
Walking into work and everyone is truly happy to see you. I’ve never worked anywhere where I felt so welcome. The consumers are amazing and become family as well as my amazing coworkers. We work together as a team.
What are 3 words you’d use to describe The Arc of Gibson County?
Rewarding – Life Changing – Fulfilling
What’s your favorite memory from The Arc of Gibson County?
When I first started, there was a female consumer that had very intimidating behaviors. I really wanted to connect with her. Finally one day she opened up to me and shared her life history with me which gave me a better understanding of why she was who she was. She was able to connect with me in a way she hadn’t with others and I felt like I truly made a difference in her life. She really made an impact on me and I knew this was what I wanted to do.
What have you gained from working at The Arc?
A new perspective on Life. A lot of the consumers we work with have dealt with so much in their lives. Some have no family involvement, health issues, history of neglect and abuse as well as their disability. Yet they are the happiest people you will ever meet. Don’t take anything for granted.
An advice for current / new staff?
We as staff work for the consumers. We are hired staff for them. Remember that. We are in their home. The consumers work hard all day. They are just like us when we get home from work. They need to unwind. Some may want to talk about their day some may not. They won’t always want to just jump into doing chores. Your shift may have just started but not theirs.