4th Work-iversary!

Help Me Grow

This month marks FOUR years working at Help Me Grow. That is just crazy to me!

Here are a few highlights over my 4 years:

  • I began as an intern in Nov of 2006 and interviewed for the job the following February. I bought  “adult” clothes for my interview but didn’t have matching heels and had to borrow some that were a size too big. (I wore chunky wool socks… classy.)
  • My first 6 months on the job I barely knew ANYTHING about child development. My moms would ask me easy questions like “when do babies usually crawl?” and I would just say “I’m going to have to get back to you on that.” Sorry early clients.
  • I was also super shy in the beginning.
  • We moved offices and I got to know some folks better:) I met my sweet friend Christine who was pregnant at the time… And literally wore a light blue perfect tee, gauchos and black flip-flops every day the 3rd trimester (okay maybe not, but every time she talks about being pregnant that’s the memory that pops into my head.)
  • I made some friends. We went out for Mexican and had Target/Starbucks dates.
  • I started knowing what the heck I was doing and grew a passion for at-risk families in poverty and young moms.
  • I became a car seat tech.
  • I worked hard and built up my caseload- to our max 40.
  • Then to our new max 45.
  • We had a rough patch- budget cuts, threats of job loss…yuck… Let’s not remember that please. My husband and I seriously discussed me quitting and working at Starbucks more than a few times:)
  • I got less at risk families (which I preferred) and more Part C families which is much more service coordination and scheduling – and although I fought it for 2 years, I finally had to learn how to do Part C to Part B transition:)
  • BIG agency changes- we got a new director (yay!) and begin being treated like adults. I was VERY glad I stuck it out.
  • We moved offices again.
  • I built up my caseload to our new max 50.
  • I felt much more equipped to do my job well and help families.
  • I took over the car seat program for our county.
  • I hit my 3 years and over the next 6 months had a few children that turned 3 – these were families I had worked with for years and it was really hard to lose them.
  • Then I built up my caseload to our new max 55, with many Part C families.
  • I was asked to be one of the three home visitors to help start up Every Child Succeeds in our program- a more intensive home visiting program with first time moms who are pregnant or have young babies.
  • After much deliberation I said yes.
  • The transition was CHAOS and to be honest- I’ve worked the hardest I ever have in the past 8 months… But I’m loving what I’m doing now. It’s such a unique opportunity to work with 1st time moms- especially during pregnancy or right after their child is born.They are SO teachable and open to new information… no bad patterns set and I get to see them much more so I can actually help them!! AND not to mention my caseload has decreased from 55 to 35-40 clients. YAY!!!
  • I took an infant massage training a few months ago and soon get the opportunity to become a lactation counselor!

I’ve worked at Help Me Grow for roughly 200 weeks, 1000 days or approximately 8,000 hours. WOW. A lot has happened over the last 4 years and I am so thankful for my job and especially that things are going so well right now (even amidst the crazy busyness!) I don’t know how long God has me in my career but I know that no matter how long it is, if He’s calling me there, it is good! I am thankful that even though what I want is very different from His plan for me that He is blessing me richly in this aspect of my life.


(Well… I hope not, but I just couldn’t resist!)


About jackielopina

Follower of Jesus, Pastor's Wife, Cookie Baker.
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6 Responses to 4th Work-iversary!

  1. Kate Titus says:

    Wow, 55 families. Awesome.

  2. You, my friend, are a rockstar. It gets me a little choked up thinking about how God is using you in such amazing ways for his kingdom. You are SO great at your job and I’m thankful to have you as a resource as well!

  3. em says:

    praise God!! and i like how your “new max” just keeps increasing… :)

  4. Kelley says:

    So grateful to share my days with you, Jackie. I’m pretty sure I learn something new from you every day! Keep up the incredible work–the families of Butler County are blessed to have you in their lives!

    P.S. I don’t see any comments about the new expectation of 25-35 cases… :)

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