At Emmaus, we offer rewarding careers where team members are a part of something bigger, making a difference in people’s lives. This meaningful work has been described by team members as a unique and uplifting experience like no other. Tiffany Summers is an Associate Client Service Manager (ACSM) at Emmaus who has shown dedication in her work time and time again. She was nominated for our Core Value award last year because she provides truly meaningful work to the people she supports and her team recognizes her limitless passion. Read below how Emmaus has changed Tiffany’s life in ways she never thought possible…
1) How has Emmaus or your client impacted your life?
Emmaus has made such a huge difference in my life. I came here a little nervous as to what I would be doing and who I would be working with. I grew up with a brother with disabilities and when I would attend his school activities I always felt a little nervous around the other students, but I felt Emmaus would be a great place for me to try out and get more knowledge about helping my brother and to feel more comfortable communicating and interacting with others with disabilities. I have learned so much better communication in so many different ways and I no longer feel uncomfortable and my brother now lives here at Emmaus.
2) How can you tell you’re making a difference?
I can tell I am making a difference because I have had such good relationships with families that have seen their loved become more independent, have less behaviors and a lot happier moods. I was Home Manger of a home before I became an ACSM. The Guardians and I have such a great relationship. They were assured that they could trust in myself and the staff that their loved one was taken care of and that they continue their daily lives without having to worry 24/7 about what was happening with their family member. They would send emails and texts to let me know this.
3) Do you have a particularly fond memory together?
The best memory I have is when Michael and I went to his mother’s home to swim for his birthday. His mom, brother, sister-in-law and nephews were all there. He was so happy when he saw everyone together. If anyone knew him, they knew he had the biggest smile when he was really happy and he would grab a hold of your arms and smile so big that his whole body would shake. He did this for about 15 minutes and it was awesome. That same day his brother and mom got in the pool with him and he swam back and forth to both of them. I was always told from his mother about when he was little that he would swim with his brother and how happy that would make him. Watching Michael be so happy with them just made my day and I will never forget it!
4) Tell me about the first time you met each other.
The First time I met Michael I worked at the day program in the basement of the old Emmaus Homes campus. We were told about his many behaviors, which made everyone a little leary of him naturally. When he came into the day program for the first time, he was smiling so big but then acted up immediately. His staff brought him into the sensory room behind the cafeteria where all the clients were. Michael refused a lot of things but he smiled a whole lot. He was a very sweet man that had a funny way of showing it. He was always ready to give you a big hug and then finish it up with a nice little pinch on your side.
5) What originally drew you to Emmaus?
I was told about Emmaus by my family member. My Grandma Joanne’s sister, Rosie, lived at Emmaus in Marthasville, Missouri.
6) What keeps you at Emmaus today?
Really I just love my job here at Emmaus. I enjoy the company of my clients and team members. My team works very well together and my brother also lives here. It really is like a little family.
7) What are some things you’ve sacrificed for your job here?
The biggest sacrifice would be my time. The good thing is that the teams I have been on really collaborate well to ensure that when it comes to family events, we help each other out and get to attend them. I really don’t mind all the phone calls and filling in shifts and I have clients that I have worked with in the past and they still call me just to check in and say hello or sometimes to complain about something. Working in ratio also lets us build a better relationship with the clients we work with.