Britney Wills – My Second Week At Gateway

My second week at Gateway was jam-packed full of learning. I have read through Individual Program Plans, to try and understand the process. I am looking forward to attending my first one, with Y. So that I can see what happens in real time. Its hard to really get a feel for them, just reading through documents. I must be more of a hands-on learner.

The first workshop I attended was the “Transitions” workshop, that Gateway offers families with youth transitioning to adulthood. As a parent myself, the thought of my oldest son going out on his own is terrifying to me! I can only imagine the fears the parents present at these workshops have, preparing for their children to be adults. Some could not even fathom the idea of their child living independently. The facilitator’s own personal story and wise words seemed to plant seeds in the minds of the parents. Which was inspiring to watch, and I am curious what will happen for these folks. The topics presented at this first workshop reminded me of a different seminar I attended. A fellow by the name of Derek Peterson, has a framework for youth called “Webs of Support” and he travels the globe talking about living in PHull color and webbing up our youth, so they don’t fall through the cracks! His philosophy is relevant to all people in my opinion. Check out his YouTube video here:


Sahana suggested I bring my puppy Lloyd into the office and it was like she read my mind. I wish I could take him with me everywhere. He is the curliest, softest, most handsome doodle puppy alive (but I’m biased). He was so excited to come to work with me. He even got to sit in an office chair. He only had one accident! (but in his defense…it did kind of look like a tree. Sorry, Sandra.) Lloyd’s presence ended up being an excellent conversation starter, and I got to know some of the team members a little better while they stopped to pet Lloyd. Gateway might have a new mascot!


I also was given the opportunity to attend an Abuse prevention workshop that Gateway offers to families. This workshop intends to help parents learn the signs of abuse, to prevent it hopefully! Families are required to take this course because they are considering hiring people to come directly into their homes.


Friday, I got to use my old preschool teacher skills, and create a bulletin board for the staff. It consists of a tree with branches, clouds, grass, and sun. On each leaf has a goal on it that each staff member shared anonymously, that one may be striving towards or working on. This way we can all see what we are working on and help each other out. It is a pretty cool way to create a stronger team. I love how important it is here to have a supportive work culture. Gateway is proving to be the diamond in the rough of agencies.