By Sandra Hoy-Maruschak
My experience of LUK is full of dichotomies and idiosyncrasies – being serious and playful, welcoming diversity, tolerating mistakes, and embracing learning opportunities. I vaguely remember my first few weeks at LUK. It was October 2006. Everything was new to me – the job, the agency, coworkers. I was even new to Massachusetts! During my interview I got a quick tour of the building, including the bank vault door in the Behavioral Health Clinic Administration area. I met so many people and forgot everyone’s names! On Halloween, my supervisor worked at his computer wearing a monster mask. My coworkers were super nice – even if they did think I was quiet. I’m not so quiet any more!
I have had a lot of learning opportunities over the intervening weeks, months, and years. Early on, I was asked to make copies (everything was paper!) of a grant. I copied the wrong one. I sat through hours of budget meetings that went over my head, but now I can put together grant budgets that (usually) make sense. Over the years, however, I also learned that the agency was open to learning from me as well. Early on, I suggested that the agency move away from Mother and Father on intake forms to Parent 1 and Parent 1 to be more inclusive of various family structures and the change was made. Management was open to a staff group focused on diversity and inclusion when a small group of us suggested this at a community meeting. These are just two examples of how ordinary staff have had an impact on the whole agency.
On a more personal level, LUK was my family when my bio family was 800 miles away. I will never forget the baby shower that Admin organized for my family after many years of infertility treatment. I was so touched that my wife was included, even though she couldn’t be there in person. I will cherish my LUK friendships for life.
Not only has the agency changed since I started here, but I have changed as well. Throughout all of the change, LUK has been committed to their core values which mirror my own. I appreciate the opportunity to learn and grow within the agency and to help the agency learn and grow as well.