My name is Aleigha Miller. I started at ADEC two weeks before I walked at my high school graduation. That was almost 8 years ago. Throughout that time I have worked at Bridlewood Group Home, Building Two Day Service and am now the team manager at the Shoots Day Service in Goshen. When I started at ADEC I never planned to stay. I thought that maybe I would stay for the summer or a year but it was mostly to get me out of the terrible job I was in before. It didn’t hit me until a few years ago that this was exactly where I was supposed to be.

At Bridlewood, there was a woman named Pat who is one of the reasons I fell in love with this field. Unfortunately she is no longer with us but she would curse like a sailor and always knew how to put a smile on your face! I always used to tell her she taught me how to curse and she would just laugh and laugh. There have been so many clients just like Pat that have touched my life.

I enjoy meeting new clients and building those relationships that are so important. Not only are they important for me, but I feel like the relationships are just as important to our clients. Some of them don’t have any kind of family so the interaction that they get with us is crucial. A hug, a handshake or just a friendly conversation can be so powerful!

Another part of this job I love is getting to be involved in so many different things! I have had the privilege to be a part of PFI, help start the clients’ small business with Etsy, cupcake wars, and now I will be learning to be a part of the coffee shop. I love getting the opportunity to interact with new people and to learn new things. I loved being a part of PFI and the Etsy business both because it was helping our clients to become more independent.

I have worked with some amazing people here. One of those was Margaret Cook. She was the first person to train me at Bridlewood and without her I actually would not have met my husband. She shows so much love and compassion for our clients and is a true example of what we strive to do here.

The best part of this field of work is by far the clients. They can make you feel like a million dollars just by a hug or saying how beautiful you look even when you think you look terrible. Our clients seem to know just what to say or do when you need it the most. Being able to advocate for them is one of the best ways we can give back. I look forward to what the future holds for me at ADEC.

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series on staff perspectives across ADEC.

Photo by Rod Tackett / Communications Specialist