2020 was a year! Ups and downs. Challenges that we have never before encountered, opportunities that we might have never imagined. But we made it through it all. And now we are well into the new year, ripe with possibilities! Keep reading to find out what I’ve been up to…
The Staggs are faring well. As long as our blessings outweigh or struggles, we’re gonna be alright. Due to the pandemic, like most we adapted some new routines such as living at work (because this IS NOT working from home), virtual 1st grade, and finding new ways to connect with family and friends. It hasn’t been easy but 2020 has also allowed us to spend more time together as a family so I will always count that as a win. Sadly we’ve also experienced some losses, which in the midst of a pandemic feel heavier than usual. Sending my love and light to all that have been faced with grief and loss this season.
In March 2020, I began a new full-time job at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Although we’ve been exclusively virtual since my 3rd week on the job, I am really enjoying it. It’s the perfect culmination of my education and experience.
I also continue my work with Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) as a Training Facilitator. Again, we had to pivot in many ways to continue our mission of advocating for children in foster care. Since March, we’ve held five pre-service virtual training sessions. Both the CASA organization and its volunteer advocates have stepped up to this transition in a big way. CASA volunteers are finding innovative ways to maintain connections with their CASA children and youth, attending virtual hearings, providing PPE and other essentials for our families and youth in need and doing all that they can to provide stability in unstable times. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a CASA or helping us in our mission, please let me know.
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is also going strong, albeit virtually which now consists of 2 hours of self-paced online activities and a 4-5 hour virtual session. MHFA is an 6-8 hour course designed to teach you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Since March, I have taught 16 MHFA courses. I offer this course for both adults and adults working with youth. If you or someone you know is interested in bringing this course to your company/organization/school/church/group, please reach out to me via email at email@example.com .
I’m so excited to share that I am working on a few upcoming projects. I will be sharing more in the weeks to come, but one is a children’s book series based on my childhood friendship with my two best friends. One of them and I recently did an interview on Facebook Live with Women in Ministry. We took a walk down memory lane with another childhood friend of ours to explore the importance of friendship, community and resilience. Click here to watch and get a preview of the hilariousness that is our life and stay tuned for more from PNK Productions.