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Meet Kweku: Crisis Team Leader

Meet Kweku: Crisis Team Leader

March 1 is Employee Appreciation Day! We are celebrating our team members all month long by sharing their stories. Read more about Kweku Akoto, Crisis Team Leader, and the busy day of someone committed to their work.  

What is your favorite thing about working here?  

Our scholars. This may not be the most financially lucrative field of work, but it must rank very highly on the most gratifying list. The administration is supportive, the school is very welcoming, and most of us understand the importance of nurturing, teaching, and protecting our young people.  

What keeps you coming to work each day?  

Much of what I described in the first answer. This is not difficult, dead- ended work. There are always new and creative ways of serving the youth. And the motivation every day is to discover and implement those new ideas.   

How do you make an impact on students' lives?  

Consistency, positive reinforcement, and praise. Modeling is essential.  

Last year, we rolled out our BetterTogether guiding principles. Which one of our values resonates with you most personally and why? (Integrity, Accountable, Collaborative, Inclusive, Supportive). 

Integrity. It encompasses elements of all the other principles.  

What does a “day in the life” look like for your role?  

Admittedly, a lot of walking. From preparation prior to the student’s arrival, greeting our students at the door and making sure they reach their classes smoothly and without incident. I have class checkups throughout the day. I also manage any behavioral incidents, processing with those young people, and returning them to programming. There is conferencing with parents, teachers, and other stakeholders. There is plenty more, but my staff (the Behavior managers) are proactive, intentional and engaging. Their effectiveness affords me the opportunity to function as somewhat of a “free safety,” to use a football analogy.  

Can you talk a little bit about your career trajectory and what led you to where you are now?   

I have, for my entire career (over 25 years), served youth and families in various roles, and will continue to do so, in some capacity, until I cannot keep up any longer. In the interim, I’m continuing my education and seek more opportunities in administrative positions.  

What has been your proudest moment or accomplishment in your role?  

Staff feedback, including my team, consistently assuring me I am doing my job well.  

What is something about you that not many people know?  

Well, if I answered that, everyone would know! 

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