Thursday, July 31, 2014

Meet the Child Care Council Staff

Kids Matter

Introducing Shade C.

Belinda @ Kids Matter

For this week’s meet and greet, I bring to you a wonderful guy who has an absolutely great personality. Please meet Shade. (I just love that name!) He is a newbie to the CCC, having been with us for less than a year. He is an Eligibility Specialist serving the counties of Carter, Elliot, Lewis, Menifee, Morgan, and Rowan.

On March 22, 2014, Shade had the greatest achievement of his life, so far. What was that momentous occasion? He married the love of his life, Kala, and what a beautiful bride she is. You can just feel their happiness in the picture above. They have a short haired gray cat, with a few specs of pink on her nose, named Dulce. When I asked about his favorite vacation, I could feel the joy of the memory in his words. “My favorite vacation would be my honeymoon! My wife and I went to New Orleans; great culture, fun activities, and amazing food. I recommend it to everyone, at least once”. Shade is the cook of the home and I love the fact that he likes to do theme nights with the meals. They also have a weekly date night outing. Now, that is sweet.

Shade’s hobbies include, “… reading books (I don’t discriminate, I love all books equally… well except for romance novels. Irony.) I also write every morning”. As a boy, living in Louisa, KY, he grew up in a home with two sisters and his mother. His grandparents were also a huge part of his life, filling in while his mom went to college to become a teacher. Louisa, in Lawrence County, “… is a small town in Eastern KY, so far east, that we’re practically in West Virginia. As a kid there wasn’t a whole lot to do,” he said. So, what’s a kid do when there isn’t much to do? Shade and his cousin, Curtis, spent many an hour climbing and jumping from tree to tree. He said, “… looking back, not the smartest decision I’ve made. This could also explain why I had so many broken bones”.

I asked if he had someone from his childhood that he would like to send a message to and if so, who would it be and why? I got a great kick out of his response, and I think a lot of us wish the same. He said, “Myself, and the message would be… ‘Invest in Google!’ Joking. In truth, my Art Teacher, Mrs. Thornsburry. The message would be ‘thank you!’ She was a teacher of strong conviction and didn’t let me get by with only half doing my work.”
Shade graduated from Morehead State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater. So, how does a man with those credentials come to work for a child care assistance program? That’s an interesting story and it attests to the character and personality of this young man. He said, “In all honesty, I fell into it. I was volunteering for a program back in college called Theater Diversion. This is a program to help troubled teens get a second chance, without having to go to court. Instead, using theatre, we taught them creative ways to express themselves instead of the destructive ones that got them sent to us. To say the kids were resistant would be an understatement. At first, I thought about walking away. However, I learned long ago, anything worth something involves time and persistence. The same can be said for my time volunteering for that program. It was rough at first, but in the end, the kids performed a show for their parents and teachers, who had mostly just written them off as trouble makers. It was nice to see the change in their expressions toward the children.” It was that caring for children attitude that compelled him to join the child care assistance program. He knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that parents need to know their child is well taken care of in their absence.

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