Meeting Challenges and Gaining Success
by Karen Harris Brooks
Approximately 2 ½ years ago, a Therapist with a distinctive name walked through the doors of POWER. Saige Gracie arrived with experience, knowledge, and a desire to make a difference in the world.
The newly appointed Clinical Supervisor loves to bring a smile to others. It is that quirky sense of humor that stands out in the crowd. With a quick wit, the former Portland, Oregon resident states, “I like to think that my personality helps me take things in stride and be flexible. I can also be very concrete and invested, which I can, at times, be hard to work with. Emotionally, I am working on flexibility.” Gracie, who likes to “present a warm and welcoming” persona, added with a touch of humor and a lot of honesty, “sometimes you need a little weird in your life.”
Saige’s life began with “loving, amazing grandparents” who played a huge role in their life. “My grandparents raised me,” they say, adding with pride, “I was fortunate in the fact that I was able to spend equal time with both. And they were grateful for the opportunity to bring me up. Gender roles were not a big deal in my family and learning from both my grandparents was a gift.”
In 2006, Saige began working in the field of social work with young women who had been in the foster care system. After a move to the East Coast, they started searching job sites for women’s empowerment programs and a position that would “represent personal philosophy without sacrificing the value system within that had been cultivated.” They fell in love with the idea that, “even though women experienced hardship, they could be empowered to make their own decisions and live full, happy lives.”
Upon discovering POWER, Saige says, “that is where I knew I wanted to work. When I get my head set on something, I am very stubborn. I sold everything, packed up the cat, my belongings, and stayed in an Air B&B until I found a place in the city that is becoming my new home.”
What’s next? Currently pursuing their Masters of Public Health at Kent State University, Saige says, “I feel like I have survived most of the big challenges I put ahead of myself and now I have to focus on my inner growth. I can check off a lot on my bucket list of developing who I am as a human being. Direct clinical work is where I am most capable. I want to eventually develop programs that work effectively in a more parallel process with the population they are trying to serve, as well as my insight into how areas directly affecting clients can be improved. I wanted to go into Program Development, but Direct Care is my heart. I am committed to my job and I love the idea where marginalized women can feel empowerment. At POWER, my value is represented. Nothing beats that. I also am committed to the job because I have been met with respect and compassion. I am greatly appreciative of the supportive, positive team dynamic. I like working in an environment where commitment is valued.”