Please enjoy a look into the heart and mind of Deborah Richmond, who has graced our trails for almost 3 decades!
Question: What first brought you to Eckerd Connects E-Nini-Hassee?
DR: I came to work at camp in 1991. I had just moved From Michigan where I had worked with developmentally challenged adults. The Detroit Free Press did an article about children and told the story of a little boy who had died as the result of abuse by his stepfather. The abuse was horrific, and his little picture has been forever on my brain and my work is dedicated to this beautiful boy. When I arrived in Florida I took a few months off but once I drove up from Boca Raton to camp I fell in love with the property, the staff, and and most of all with the girls. I felt embraced by it all.
Question: What’s surprised you the most about being the clinical supervisor at E-Nini-Hassee?
DR: I was a group treatment coordinator and then a supervisor. I had sworn when leaving Michigan that I would never supervise again but here I was. I believe it had to do with all the other staff around me. Chief Mitch, Chief Jo, then a program director, and others. It is a wonderful group and always has been. It is a privilege for me. I also give credit for the quality and caring of our program to Chief Jo who leads by example.
Question: What seems to be the biggest obstacle for the girls who come to E-Nini-Hassee?
DR: I believe one of the biggest issues our girls struggle with is a good sense of self: knowing who you are. Adolescence has always been a challenge, but never more than now. One of the girls summed it up for me, she said each day she must develop a new self (for social media). Different clothes, hair, make up, persona.... What a challenge they have trying to figure out our ever-changing world!
Question: What do you love most about the work?
DR: One of my favorite things at camp is to dance with the girls. I teach them the twist, mashed potatoes, monkey, and pony. I play the Beatles… and Tina turner, and we just dance and laugh. No social media, boys, or world problems. We just dance our hearts out.
Question: What’s the latest and greatest book you’ve read?
DR: I am currently reading three books. One is a re-read, The Parallel Process by Krissy Posatek, which we ask all our parents to read, a book I recently got add a trauma conference on meditation, and then a Mystery book by Robert Galbraith (Who is really a woman: guess who? …JK Rowling!)
Question: If you had to choose your education and career path to do all over again, would you choose the same professional path? If not, what would you do differently and why?
DR: If I could change my career education I am grateful to say that I would not change a thing. I love what I do and who I am. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to serve, but there is a lot to do so everyone needs to get to work!