Cottage Supervisor Receives National Recognition | Our Kids at the Heart of Her Passion

Cottage supervisor Karla Jimenez(pictured left) was recently awarded the national Carol Kelly Newcomer Award by the Association for Child and Youth Care Practice. Association President Jody Rhodes (pictured right) visited Casa Pacifica’s campus to present the award. Karla was one of four individuals in the country to receive the award, which is named after Carol Kelly, former CSUN professor and friend of Casa Pacifica. The award is granted to individuals nominated by their supervisors who show potential to be significant advocates for children, youth, and families across their career. 

“When working in this field, there might be circumstances or individuals who make you want to give up, but keep pushing, keep trying, because if you give up you might have missed the chance to change a kid’s life and in turn, missed the chance to better this world,” Karla Jimenez, Angels Cottage Supervisor.

When reflecting on her time so far at Casa Pacifica, Karla recalled one girl in particular, “Mayra came to us from a different country and had experienced significant trauma with adults in her life. She had a very tough exterior – she was a kid that never cried in front of people or showed feelings, she was aggressive and perceived the people around her as threats. I was able to draw upon our similar cultural experiences to help her have real and honest conversations about her feelings and thoughts. Through this experience, we were able to build a trusting relationship.”

“So even while Mayra continued to display aggressive behaviors, she was able to reflect on and learn from her experiences. I would always tell her that regardless of what she would do, I would always be there for her and I was not giving up on her. She would often ask what she would have to do to get a seven-day notice – I would always say, ‘that is not an option’ and continue working with her.”

“At one point, something clicked with her and she started making so much progress. It was nice to see how she would run to group huddles, talk to other youth about being polite, and act appropriately. She is someone very close to my heart, just like every kid that has been in the program.”

“The time came when Mayra was ready to graduate the program – we were extremely proud of the girl who walked out of Angels cottage and the incredible transformation we saw in her.”

Our staff work long hours and continually dedicate themselves to getting youth and their families the help they need. A win for Karla is a win for the entire staff. Congratulations on this award, Karla! We are so proud of you and appreciate all you do for Casa Pacifica and our kids. 

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Carol Kelly Newcomer Award

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