Humans of Humanim: Meet Emily

Meet Emily Cummings, a dedicated community integration facilitator in the developmental disabilities program at Gerwig. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Emily made the bold decision to move to the United States at the age of 19, embarking on a journey that would lead her to impactful work at Humanim.

For the past two years, Emily has been an integral part of Humanim, initially starting as a Direct Support Professional and now as a facilitator, where she assists individuals in forging connections within their community. Her role not only gives her a sense of purpose but also fosters a strong sense of community for herself. 

As an advocate for her clients, Emily develops monthly schedules, formulates goals, and pulls together meetings with families and the agencies that help support them.

“I absolutely love it. When you work with the clients every day, you build a relationship and know what’s going on and they trust you,” she says. “The main thing is getting to come to work every single day and put a smile on the individuals’ faces, to make their day as meaningful as possible. That gives me a lot of joy.”

“The thing I value most about the work is finding ways to help the clients,” she says. “I value that they trust me every day to come to me with problems they have that they aren’t comfortable talking to other people about. If you make time to sit with them, they will gravitate to you. I had to earn their trust; and they’ve earned mine, for sure.”

Outside of work, Emily finds joy cheering on the boys’ high school basketball team coached by her boyfriend and cooking – usually spicy Trinidadian food, including lots of soups. And she’s taken up golf. “Everyone tells me I’m pretty good for just starting. I just enjoy being out there, it takes your mind off everything. You’re just in the moment trying to aim, really concentrating.”

Emily is proud of her independence, as moving to America was not always easy. “People couldn’t understand my accent, I ate different food,” she recalls. “I would wear my flip flops in cold weather. It was a culture shock, and I had to learn really quickly.”

And she treasures the community she has within Humanim. 

“Moving from overseas, I don’t have a lot of family here,” she says. “When I first started in this job, Humanim sort of became my family. It felt a little lonely, but I have to say I’ve made a family working here. I felt welcomed.”

Looking ahead, Emily is enthusiastic about the opportunities for growth in her field. “I’m young, and this field is full of opportunity. I’m going to keep trying to make the clients’ days as positive and meaningful as possible.”

Emily’s journey is a testament to resilience, compassion, and dedication, qualities that shine through her work and her commitment to making a difference every day.