Meet Marla Gilbert, Residential Shift Lead

In November of 2007 I saw an ad in the newspaper for a residential coach at Calo.  Ken interviewed me and the next thing I know I was doing a trial shift.  Shellie Gavette worked with me that day.  I didnt think I would get the job because I got choked up and began to cry in a caseload group with Rob.  One of Robs students and her family were sharing stories.  One of the family members began to cry and so did I.  On my way home I remember thinking that I wouldnt be hired because I was a wimp.  Shellie called it empathetic and I was offered the job. 

It was a rough first day.  The female students were pretty hard on me.  One of the girls asked me if I was going to quit.  I answered her by saying, no.  Ill never forget that she said, good, because Im worth it!  She was worth it and I never looked back. 

Im a mom so I enjoyed learning about Trust of Care.  I always want to know that students are treated well and taken care of whether its bandaging a scrape or making sure everyone has a napkin and a drink during mealtimes.  Humility is another word I now live by.  You learn to be humble quickly or you wont make it.  If you can share humility with the students and admit that you make mistakes, they will have a greater trust in you.  I have learned to be humble in all of my relationships outside of Calo also.  The communication with my own teenagers has improved. 

My co-workers are special.  This is the best group of people I have ever worked with.  We are supportive for each other.  We have a tough job to do each day.  I feel blessed making a difference in the lives of our students and working side by side with Calo staff.  Shellie Gavette and Russell See took me under their wing and taught me everything I needed to know.  When I have a question, Russell will say, let me show you.  He walks staff through each situation with kindness and always remains a calm leader.  Shellie is the listener.  She always has time to listen and explain. 

Every day is a new day and Im always happy to be here.