Alexandra’s 19-year career with CFS has been a story of growth, and the next step in her journey – a Masters in Public Administration from Monroe College – will be supported by a scholarship from 100 Hispanic Women.
“I started at CFS in 2003 as a Direct Support Professional (which was then called Residential Habilitation Specialist). After about five years I became a Medicaid Service Coordinator, facilitating services for individuals. I helped them get reimbursements and find programs. I would make waves to make sure those we support got everything they need. Being bilingual really helped with that,” Alexandra said. Then she served as a Supervisor in both the Community and Day Habilitation programs for about seven years.
When CFS created the Systems Support Specialist position to help with the move to electronic documentation and billing six years ago, Alexandra’s experience made her a natural fit for the new role. She knew what the CFS teams would need from the new web-based solution for documenting the services we are providing because she’s been in so many different roles. “Overall, I am the person who helps make the system as useful as possible for us,” Alexandra stated. “Because I know what we want to achieve, I can take a report from the system and make it user friendly and beneficial to our teams.”
When Alexandra shared with her supervisor, Linda, that she was going to continue her education with a Masters in Public Administration, Linda was very supportive. “We’ve developed a great relationship over the years. I can share with her struggles I’m having or seek advice, and her feedback is always pragmatic and useful. On a personal level, she’s a mom, I’m a mom, so we understand we’re not just workers – we have families, and we have duties to our children and home life. During COVID, our relationship got even stronger because we were navigating a lot of the same challenges. When she became aware of this scholarship she shared it with me right away, and she even wrote a wonderful letter of recommendation for the application,” said Alexandra.
After submitting the application and going through a few interviews, she was awarded the scholarship! And because of a partnership between CFS and Monroe College, the scholarship will make the cost a bit more manageable. Now, Alexandra looks forward to using her growing education to support CFS. “I’ve been in the field for 19 years. I love what I do because I’ve been given the opportunity to do different kinds of work for the agency and get different perspectives for each role. I’ve been able to show my value because I’ve had supervisors and others that saw me and thought I had the potential to do more. Because of that opportunity, I’ve been able to grow within the agency,” Alexandra said. “Once I get my degree, I would like to continue to do what I’ve been doing: Discovering new ways to support the population I serve, the needs of CFS, and with my newly acquired knowledge, I can better help the agency get to where we want to be, and achieve our vision.”