In the Employee Spotlight we aim to recognize a Youth Service, Inc. employee making an impact in the communities we serve. Rashonda Steed works in the Baring House Crisis Nursery program.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
My name is Rashonda Steed. I have a CDA, Child Development Associates, in early childhood development and am currently continuing my education in educational psychology at Community College of Philadelphia.
One of my hobbies is collecting Barbie dolls. I’ve been doing that since I was 12 years-old. I probably have over a hundred, maybe more. I loved Barbies growing up. I’m the oldest in my family, I had even more when I was younger before my youngest sisters started playing with them and destroying them, ha ha ha, but now that I’m older I started collecting them again.
Right now, I’m really collecting “Fashionista Barbies”, which is a series highlighting those with disabilities. I have dolls that are in wheelchairs, have skin conditions, etc. I also have Barbies that are doctors and college graduates.
Q: How long have you been working at YSI and it what program(s)?
I have been working at YSI for 17 years. For my first four years at the agency, I worked at the Mantua Family Center, located at the McMichael School, as a program manager where I ran their summer camp and after school programs. For the last 13 years I have been at Baring House Crisis Nursery as an assistant teacher.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges faced by you working in these programs?
It is hard and sad to see how some children come into Baring House’s care through traumatic events and backgrounds.
Q: What do you do to overcome these challenges?
When children with a traumatic background come into our program, the staff tries to show them all the love and understanding we can to make them feel safe and welcome, through nurturing and holding the babies and preschoolers.
Q: What is one of your favorite success stories during your time at YSI?
My favorite success story is when children come to Baring House at 2 years old and develop an interest in our curriculum and, with their parent/caregivers help, are able to read and write by age 3.
Q: What do you enjoy most about working in this program and at YSI?
I enjoy coming to work and working alongside my co-workers and love all the kids that come to the Baring House.
Learn more about the Baring House Crisis Nursery program here.