As part of Black History Month 2021, the Maryland Department of Labor is highlighting the achievements and contributions of African Americans across Maryland, including Humanim’s own Talent Manager for Developmental Disability Services, Charles Hicklyn, and Kieshawn, a recent graduate of Humanim’s Administrative Assistant Career Training Program. Read about their achievements and contributions to Maryland’s workforce below, and visit http://www.labor.maryland.gov/employment/bhm/ for more stories.
Charles is the Talent Manager for Developmental Disability (DD) Services at Humanim. Charles started at Humanim as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) in the Gerwig Day Program in 2013. Since then, he’s worked in various roles and capacities at Humanim, most recently overseeing the Youth and Adult DSP Apprenticeship Programs. “Having the chance to move through the organization and interact with various groups has allowed me to forge good relationships, widen my perception, and strengthen my skills under unfamiliar conditions.”
About the Apprenticeship Program, Charles shares, “What I most enjoy about the apprenticeship program is the chance to have an impact. Fostering meaningful relationships with the apprentices that allow for trust, confiding, and growth… through the sharing of experiences. I look to learn just as much from them as I hope to impart upon them. I want them to succeed in all aspects of their lives, whether that is at Humanim or elsewhere!”
As the Talent Manager for DD Services, Charles is committed to training and developing staff to be exceptional DSPs. “The importance of having good, quality DSPs cannot be overstated. All of our services as an organization hinge on DSPs fulfilling their job duties effectively and efficiently. A quality DSP will engage with participants in meaningful and creative ways that challenge people to step outside of their norm, to lead a life that they are proud to call their own. A quality DSP will communicate well with the team to help ensure that needs are being met across service areas, and advocate for individuals when this does not occur. As a person who spends prolonged periods of time with individuals served, DSPs are in a position to observe and discuss facets of the individual’s life that others may not. The ability to convey that information to others when needed is vital to provide superior services.”
We thank Charles for his dedication and drive to be an excellent employee at Humanim and appreciate his commitment to the DSP Apprenticeship Program.
Kieshawn is a recent graduate of Humanim’s Administrative Assistant Training Program, which took place in-person and virtually. She first heard of the program through her daughter who was a graduate of the 2016 cohort. She shared, “I decided to attend Humanim’s Administrative Assistant Training because I saw what a difference it made for my daughter, who was a former student. She spoke so highly of the class and staff. After graduating from Humanim’s training, she became more outgoing and confident. She is now in her second year of Nursing School. I am so proud of her and I wanted to have that same pride for myself.”
In the program, Kieshawn was able to grow in self-confidence and soft skills, as well as public speaking. Reflecting on the program, Kieshawn shares, “I still find it amazing how this training has impacted not only my life, but my family’s life. I have blossomed into a confident woman with drive, who knows where she wants to go in life, not just in a career, and the path I need to take to get there. My family has noticed the change, and to hear them tell me that I make them proud, is the best feeling I could ever ask for. Humanim supplied me with the tools to achieve that.”
At first, Kieshawn was apprehensive about starting the class during COVID-19, as she and a family member have health issues. However, she saw the precautions in place, as well as the cleanliness of the building when in-person, and decided that she would still benefit from the training despite some of the limitations.
“I would definitely recommend others to attend the training. Together, with the staff at Humanim and the anchors, this training is a life changer! And I am very thankful for the experience.”