Name: Devina Brooks
Position: Behavior Intervention Specialist
As a milieu supervisor at JBA, I felt like I needed a change; something different, something new, something challenging; something out of my comfort zone that would push me to grow professionally. I was informed of a new position in All-In that would allow me to share my knowledge I obtained from working at the CTF and NPS. Considering I did not like talking in groups among other things, the position sounded like it was the change I needed.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
“When people tell you they are, believe them.” –Maya Angelou
“I don't think you ever stop giving. I really don't. I think it's an on-going process. And it's not just about being able to write a check. It's being able to touch somebody's life.” – Oprah Winfrey
What does your average day look like?
I have two types of average days. My least favorite are the days that include paperwork. Those days I spend hours on the computer preparing assessments and behavior intervention plans.
My average favorite days include checking/responding to emails, coaching various staff, providing behavior consult and training, observing students (although sometimes it’s overstimulating), leading social skills groups, attending IEPS, interviewing staff and parents, participating in team meetings for my former and current caseloads, driving to various sites, and finishing up my day by checking/responding to emails again.
Why do you do this work?
I do this work because I have 3 younger adoptive siblings who faced behavior challenges throughout school due to trauma they endured during their first 4-6 years of life. Two of my siblings were diagnosed with mental health disorders prior to being adopted. They received services outside of school (therapy) but did receive any services in school to support them during the school day. My sister was continuously kicked out schools since the age of nine. She received Seneca services at Hillside during high school and she showed signs of progress. So I do this work, to help students like my siblings who need extra love, reassurance, and support. Over the last three years, I have remained connected to the work because I want to give to others what was given to me. KNOWLEDGE.
What hope do you have for the future of All-In?
I would really like to see All-In work in more Oakland Public Schools.