In the Employee Spotlight we recognize a Youth Service, Inc. employee making an impact in the communities we serve. Alisa Haywood currently works in YSI’s Baring House Crisis Nursery program.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. Do you have any special hobbies or interests you’d like to share?

My name is Alisa Haywood and I’m from West Philadelphia’s Mantua neighborhood. I graduated from West Philadelphia High School. Some hobbies that I love to do are to cook, make gift baskets and make my own shea butter. My husband and I also have our own moving company.

Q: What brought you to YSI?

Prior to joining the team at YSI, I was the  head teacher at a childcare facility called Dust to Dawn located in the heart of West Philadelphia, prior to that I ran an after-school program, out of the McAlpine Rec Center on 35th and Aspen Street.

I first worked at a shelter for girls called Spruce and I really enjoyed working with the teens there as a childcare provider. From there, I started working in YSI’s Youth Emergency Service (YES) program as a childcare provider. I worked at YES in various roles for about 16 years, and I really liked the impact I felt I had on the youth during my time there.

After my time at YES, I moved on to YSI’s Baring House Nursery program where I work as a childcare provider in the pre-school room providing care and nurturing to children ages 2-5 years old. I enjoy cooking for the children as well as doing fun, educational and interactive activities with them on a daily basis.

I’ve been at YSI for a total 20 years.

Q: What roles have you had during your 20 years at YSI?

I am currently a child care worker at Baring House. NEED MORE DETAILS.

Q: What are some of the biggest challenges faced by you working in this program?

One of the biggest challenges working at YSI is hearing different challenges that youth in our programs have had to go through. It can be overwhelming at times to see the different kinds of trauma that some of these young people faced so young in life.

Q: What do you do to overcome these challenges?

I try to stay positive and give words of encouragement. I do my best to earn the children’s trust and let them know that I am here for them.  I always try to be a listening ear for them to come to and let them know that they do have people in their corner who care and are fighting for them.

Q: What keeps you motivated every day?

I love taking care of and working with children. This is a special job and it takes a special kind of person to do what my coworkers and I do. The children we care for definately keep me motivated each day. Just seeing their smiles when they see my face when they come to the Baring House lets me know that I am doing something right. Those smiles let me know that I am making a difference.

Q: What is one of your favorite success stories during your time at YSI?

I’ve enjoyed the Thanksgiving diners that I would have with the teens during my time at YES. I also enjoyed the holiday seasons and seeing the children’s reactions when they receive the gifts that have been graciously donated to YSI for them.

Q: What are some of your favorite memories of YSI?

One of the youth I’ve previously cared for now works as a pilot! He contacted me on Facebook to let me know the positive impact that I and YSI have had on his life. It made me feel good to know that me and my coworkers work has helped so much. His message reassured me that the youth in our care are listening to the advice I’ve tried to give them. It was great to hear that he is doing so well now!

Q: What do you enjoy most about working in this program and at YSI?

I love seeing the children continue to grow and learn each day, and know the impact this work has on their futures and their families.