In the Employee Spotlight we recognize a Youth Service, Inc. employee making an impact in the communities we serve. Lynne Hammond is a facilitator in YSI’s Teen Sucess 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? 

A: As Will Smith sings, I’m West Philadelphia, born & raised. I’m a graduate of Overbrook High School (Class of 82). I earned a BS Degree in Health Administration from Penn State University and am a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. I enjoy serving my community. 

I moved to Wichita Kansas in 2017, but there’s no place like home and I returned to PA in 2018. Philadelphia is rich with cultural events and activities which I love attending with friends or my son, James.  

I also love reading and going to the library. Pearl Cleage is my favorite author and the titles “Some Things I Never Thought I’d Do” and “What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day” describe my life perfectly! 

Q: What brought you to YSI?   

A: I learned of YSI 20 years ago, when as a new mom, I needed respite childcare. My son, James, received care at Baring House and has fond memories of Ms. Betty who was a childcare worker there. I primarily used Baring House for respite childcare and for support with things such as diapers, clothing, blankets and formula. 

I love children and have 20+ years of experience working with youth and families. I’ve provided counseling and case management services and facilitated parenting education groups. I’ve also supervised after school programs. I’ve worked at Children’s Aid Society of PA, Turning Points for Children and Philadelphia Youth Network prior to joining the YSI team. 

Q: How long have you been working at YSI and in what program(s)? 

A: I was excited to be hired as a consultant for the Teen Success Program in May 2021. I am very passionate about and committed to working with young mothers and their children. 

Q: What do you look forward to most about working in this program and at YSI? 

A: I am looking forward to meeting the moms and supporting them as we discuss topics Including Child Development, Discipline, Goal Setting, Self-Care/Stress Management, Healthy Relationships, the Importance of Father’s, Birth Control and Career Readiness. 

In addition to providing supports for the mothers. I am also looking forward to working with their children. Children learn through play, so we will host Mom/Baby playgroups once a month in addition to our normal program meetings. During these monthly playgroups, children will get books from the First Books program and moms will learn about free or minimal cost activities they can do with their children. 

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

A: My only concern is recruitment. I’m aiming to have 10-12 moms in the group.  

I am confident about retention, once they come is it very likely that they will stay. In the past my cofacilitator and I have been able to create a caring, supportive, and trusting climate where we share positive parenting info. We will provide individual support as needed to ensure that mom and baby needs are met. 

If the Delta variant gets worse and we have to resort back to virtual groups, that may be challenging as I think it is hard to be engaged virtually (my personal bias). 

Q: What will you do to overcome these challenges? 

A: If sessions need to be virtual, I’d like to ensure that they are as interactive as possible to keep participants engaged. 

Q: What keeps you motivated every day?    

A: My name is Lynne and 3 Ls motivate me: my desire to Live, Laugh and Love FULLY each day. I hope to make the most of each day, by serving others, with a smile.