Spotlight on Excellence Award: Tahitia Atkins – Northtown IRA

February 12, 2014

What did this person specifically do to deserve special recognition?

Tahitia stepped up to become a leader during a time of change and transition. Northtown’s Supervisor of seven years, Mary, retired, leaving behind an amazing team, but missing a leader. Tahitia stepped into that position for her fellow staff members, taking on extra responsibilities, working extra shifts to cover the two open full time positions we currently have and took on extra one on one time with our most challenging individual after she lost her community habilitation staff. When I arrived at Northtown, Tahitia took on the changes I brought in stride and with a positive attitude.

How does this action rise above normal job performance?

Tahitia excels at everything that she puts her mind and efforts into. She has gone above and beyond over the last 3 months; during the transition of a new supervisor, showing support for the change occurring within the program, and being instrumental in the positive behavior trajectory we have seen in one of our residents. Tahitia has asked for more tasks, and responsibility, wanting Northtown to be the best program and her to be the best Direct Support Professional she can be. She has succeeded beyond what even I had hoped.

Describe the person’s attitude towards their work and their team members during this time.

Tahitia’s spirit and positive attitude are reflected in everything that she does. She is the first to crack a joke, or make one of the individuals laugh. Whether it is dancing with the girls, or helping with a shower and singing along to High School Musical, Tahitia finds the fun in her work and creates an atmosphere that is welcoming and lighthearted for the ladies here at Northtown. This also rubs off on each of her team members, and keeps them going, even on tough days. The team looks to her to be the comic relief during their shift. This attitude has been a direct help to all of our individuals as well as the team here at Northtown. Change does not always come easy, and when you lose a leader who has been around for as long as Mary was, it can be very difficult to start over. Tahitia was the first to be open and welcoming to me, and by following her example, I was able to establish relationships within the IRA. The individuals look to her as someone they can count on, a steady presence when so much around them is changing in such a short period of time. Her easygoing attitude and fun demeanor put them at ease. The same is true of the team. They follow Tahitia’s lead, and are welcoming and open to the changes that have happened over the last three months. She has been an integral part of that change.