Hannah Lauridsen is not in the career she planned for, but she believes she’s in the career she was meant for.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do out of college,” she said. “I originally wanted to be a teacher – that’s what I was going to school for, but I changed my major from English education to English so I could graduate, because I was done with college. So, I was just kind of taking a break, seeing what opportunities would happen.”
That’s when she heard about an opening at Jefferson House, one of Oaklawn’s supervised group living facilities. The house is currently home to six residents with a serious mental illness. Hannah is one of a handful of staff members who are on-site 24/7.
She helps clients manage their medications, cook meals, grocery shop, keep appointments, clean, manage their finances and more. As a skills trainer/care facilitator hybrid, she works with clients to set goals, then creates and executes treatment plans based on those goals.
She says she likes the routine of her job – performing daily tasks that others might dismiss as unimportant. She appreciates the repetition and knows her clients do, too. She’s an introvert, but after a few months on the job, she’s settling in and building relationships.
She feels like her past experiences have helped her prepare for her role here. She served as a Residential Assistant in college and spent a summer as a pharmacy tech. And she’s always enjoyed helping people.
“This isn’t the way I thought I would be helping,” she said, “but now that I have the job, it feels like something I was always supposed to do.”
There’s much to like about her first full time job, she says. She has an amazing manager who’s willing to help with anything, great benefits and appreciates Oaklawn’s increasing focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The organization recently awarded leadership grants to BIPOC and LGBTQ+ staff, signaling an investment in historically marginalized communities.
Most of all, she feels like a part of the team.
“I feel really valued as an employee,” she said. “I know that my work is important and I know that’s recognized.”