Employee of the Month: Kalani Maurizzio

What originally made you want to work with EA? Kalani Maurizzio, Social Worker

I initially chose to work with EA because I believed in the mission and core values that EA stood for. It stood for families, it served as an adjunct of change to the community, and it served the whole person from housing to community resources and referrals; to providing a comprehensive training process to certify resource parents. I enjoy serving my community so working with EA was no brainer for me.

Describe what your best day on the job looks like:

The best day for me while on the job... I would say starting my day with supervising visits between children and their bio families. I enjoy showing up for the bio families modeling and providing support and feedback. When I see a bio parent showing up and asking for support, I enjoy helping them—whether that's assisting them with teaching how to make a bottle, or change a diaper properly. I enjoy that I can provide educational experiences for the parent so that they are set up for success during their time with EA.

I also enjoy meeting my foster kiddos where they are at. For example, I sometimes go a child's school and provide birthday treats if it's a kiddos birthday. My husband's family has a bakery so I often ask the kiddo what they would like for their birthday (treat-wise) and I bring it to their school while I conduct a meeting with them. They usually light up and enjoy walking around the black top eating their treat, showing me around their school, and introducing me to the staff and their friends at lunch time.

I also think a perfect day would be conducting a move-in, where I am assisting a young adult with moving into their first apartment or place of residence. When we had keys to a young adult for the first time, it's often their first-time obtaining ownership of their own independent living space. I enjoy being a part of that process. It is humbling as well as an honor to be a part of the foundation of someone's fresh start into the next phase of their life.

What do you wish people knew about working in your field?

What I wish people knew about working in this particular field: I wish people knew that it is rewarding, fun, and meaningful.

How do you practice self care?

I practice self-care by playing with my children, reading books and making memories with my husband. He's my best friend.

What's a hidden talent you have, or something about yourself that would surprise most people?

Something about myself that would surprise most people is that I had an IEP growing up. I struggled immensely in school. I was told I would never finish a 4-year degree or make it in school. But here I am! I just completed my master's degree, so that's really exciting to me. I hope that others can relate to my journey and that it can inspire them.