May 6, 2020 | Comments Off on Employee Spotlight: LaFondras Peterson
From direct care to policies and procedures, LaFondras shares her most positive moments during her 15 years at Alexander Youth Network.
Over the past few weeks, LaFondras Peterson has been leading Alexander Youth Network’s fight against coronavirus. As one of the leaders of the Infection Control Task Force, she has been working around the clock to ensure the safety of staff and children at Alexander. With her attention to detail and knowledge of procedures, she has been a prominent advisor not only for the past few months but for the past 15 years. In that time, she has been able to encourage others to use their diverse skills and backgrounds to support the common goal of serving our kids.
Peterson first joined Alexander in 2005 as a direct care behavioral health counselor. After years of volunteering with at-risk youth with Communities in Schools, she wanted to shift her focus to making it her full-time job. Her cherished time working with the kids have been when she has been able to help them overcome obstacles and develop new skills. She recounts that some of her most rewarding moments have been when kids have learned to embrace their differences and experiences and learn how to use them to succeed.
A passion for encouraging others has led her to take on more support roles within the agency. In recent years, Peterson has worked in case support, medical records, as a program manager, and now as the Performance Improvement/Environment of Care Coordinator. In these roles, she has encouraged others to collaborate and combine their skills to support safety and performance improvement as a way to care for kids at Alexander.
“The staff at Alexander are dedicated and they constantly work hard to support our kids,” LaFondras Peterson.
When asked to reflect upon the works she’s done over the past few weeks, LaFondras gravitates back to her behavioral health counselor roots. Just like our kids, we as adults sometimes need to:
- Take a break
- Start Over
She reminds us that no struggle is ever permanent and that the many challenges we face with the current epidemic are temporary.
“I do the best I can at any given point. If I need a break, I take a break and then start over,” says Lafondras.
She also reminds us that in doing this you have to take time to decide what is best for you, and- if you are not at your best, you cannot do your best for others. This mantra of self-care has been a key message Peterson and the taskforce team. They have shared it with staff since March, but it has long been a mantra of the Performance Improvement team over the years.
LaFondras’ selfless dedication to others has been an inspiration to Alexander. She embraces diversity and empowers creativity amongst our staff to thrive in difficult situations. We are lucky to have her as a leader during this time of uncertainty and know that Peterson will be a leader at Alexander for years to come.
LaFondras Peterson is an avid reader and traveler. She has a passion for history and culture, planning many of her trips around historical sites.
Written by Emily Gordon.