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SEPT. 14, 2020 - What do you like about working with kids?
There’s hope at this stage in the game. Maybe we’re working with teenagers who didn’t have all the resources they could’ve had earlier. But now I have the opportunity to help them get ready for adult services and become more independent. So right now is that time where we can still affect change, we can still help these kids learn new and more effective ways to access their community, access their environment.

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JULY 31, 2020 - So I had a student that when she came in she, she had this tough exterior. Like nobody was going to get through. I remember a meeting that I had, it was in the first week that she was here. Her worker came in to check in with her and I came in to sit down with her. She puts her feet up on the table, she sits back with her arms crossed...

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Hillcrest Educational Centers Pittsfield MA, Hillcrest Educational Centers Lenox MA, Berkshires

JUNE 12, 2020 - The kids. These are challenged kids. Sometimes with their behavior you think they don’t like you. You think they don’t care about you. You think it’s all about them. And then I had my injury and kids were like acting out. And then anytime I was on light duty, I popped over there and the kids were like, ‘Saaamm, when are you coming back?!’....

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Hillcrest Educational Centers Pittsfield MA, Hillcrest Educational Centers Lenox MA, Berkshires

MAY 22, 2020 – “When a student has been struggling and you see that moment where they just get it and you get to be a part of that, it makes you feel so good. You see the growth over time. For some of the students, it’s been a slow process when you look at it day to day or week to week. You think nothing’s happening. But when I think back to where these students were a year and a half ago, I get it. Wow, they’ve made so much progress! Reflect back on it and you get to be wowed.”

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Hillcrest Educational Centers Pittsfield MA, Hillcrest Educational Centers Lenox MA, Berkshires

MAY 8, 2020 - What are the happiest moments for you while working here?
...And at the end of the day, he asked me, “How did you do that? I said, “It is knowing your kid.” You’re not in to win, you’re in it to work with those kids. When you give your everything to them, they listen to you. They know what to do. Sometimes when they do something, I don’t even have to say anything, I just turn and look at them...

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Hillcrest Educational Centers Pittsfield MA, Hillcrest Educational Centers Lenox MA, Berkshires

APRIL 24, 2020 - What kind of person do you think succeeds in working with these kids?
People who have the right balance of confidence, but also empathy and understanding that these kids have gone through trauma. So you want to be confident, you want to be trauma-informed, definitely want to be physically capable, because this job can be physically daunting. I encourage all people to focus on wellness. Hit the gym, go for a run, take a walk. Anything that can keep your energy level up because you need it. You need energy to be here.

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Hillcrest Educational Centers Pittsfield MA, Hillcrest Educational Centers Lenox MA, Berkshires

APRIL 10, 2020 - When Doug originally came up with the idea, he brought it to his boss and the rest of Brookside’s administrative team. Everyone was immediately excited and on board with the prospect of the students learning to cook. Everyone agreed with Doug’s sentiment of, “Why not give them a skill that they can use beyond Hillcrest and something that will be helpful for them for the rest of their lives?”

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Hillcrest Educational Centers Pittsfield, MA, Lenox, MA Great Barrington, MA In The Berkshires
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