What Makes Tierra A Special Place to Work?

 In Blog

Did you know that there are a number of individuals who have supported our clients for over a decade? Meet a few of the remarkable men and women who have dedicated their lives to people with developmental disabilities and learn what makes Tierra so special to them.

Maria Isela Castellanos

Direct Support Professional, 21 Years Served


“When I started, I was 30 years old, so I’ve grown up with the clients. I didn’t knowh how to speak English when I began, so my co-worker, Laura, took the time to teac me. Then, the clients taught me. The things I have learned have been because of Tierra. I learn for my clients – they have helped me grow as a person, spiritually, and I’ve learned how to work with them. All the areas of my life, Tierra has been there. For example, I was scared to touch paperwork and the computer, but now…I thank Tierra del Sol because they trained me and now I can do so much, more than I thought I could. Now I enter my T-logs, run reports, and I go…WOW, I know how to do that!”

Susie Ayala

Core Instructor, 18 Years Served


“I have gone through a lot of heartache in my life. I lost my brother 11 years ago, which was very difficult for me, and when I came back to work, the clients would ask me, ‘Are you okay? Sit down and tell me what’s going on.’ I was very sensitive and they lifted my spirits up. Three years ago, I lost my mom. I took time away to care for her because she had dementia. When she passed, I didn’t want to stay home anymore. I needed to come to work and I saw that the clients filled so many voids within me. I was able to care for them and make a difference.

The love of the clients has made me stay here. I truly believe that they are my inspiration. When I started I was 42 years old, and now, I’m 60. The clients have seen me grow, seen my kids grow, and to me, they are part of my family. There are some clients and families I have grown very close to and have a life-long friendship with, and that is why I have stayed with Tierra for so long.”

Ketty Izquieta

Direct Support Professional, 17 Years Served


“When my son was diagnosed with ADHD, and later on, Tourette syndrome, it was so hard. He was very difficult, so I had to research ways to deal with him, and I took many trainings with regional center. Dealing with behaviors like my son’s can be very hard. It is the same here. Sometimes, I have to work with clients who have very challenging behaviors and that becomes difficult. And since all clients are unique and they all learn differently, I have to get to know each person individually. But, I enjoy what I do.

The truth is, the pay isn’t that great, but I don’t do what I do because of the money. I do what I do because I feel gratified and I take pride in my job. I am proud of what I do, and how much I help each person I have worked with. Many people think what I do is hard, but I know my job, the clients, the environment… and when you know something, it is easy. That’s why I have stayed at Tierra for so many years, I know what I do, I enjoy it, and I make a difference.”

Kurt Hagihara

Direct Support Professional, 19 Years Served


“I found the initial job opening in The Daily News under ‘Social Services’ and thought it would be a good match for my degree in Sociology. When I first started at Tierra, I observed clients participating in Ceramics and Art classes and playing basketball during their morning break. I was really excited to join such an uplifting atmosphere. Of course, it wasn’t easy when I began. I worked with non- verbal clients who had assaultive behaviors, toileting issues, seizures, and ambulatory challenges. Through many trying and exhausting days, I learned new ways to bond with the clients. Now that I work with clients who have professional volunteer positions, I enjoy seeing them do more tasks on their own.

The hardest part of the job is having to say goodbye. I’ve been to two funerals and a memorial service for three different clients. Each time, I wondered if I could have done more. What makes Tierra special is that new challenges are constantly being presented and new bonds are always possible whether with clients or staff.”

Thomas “Tom” Miranda

Direct Support Professional, 18 Years Served


“There are key people at Tierra that have taken me under their wing and shown me the ropes. I enjoy what I do because I can see results. said, “Help the people you serve find their music. What py A speaker that came to Tierra makes them tick.” Like when you hear a good song and it takes you to your hap place – you can sing it and you don’t care how it sounds. But it takes you to that place.  That’s what I look for when I work with each client and am building a relationship with them.  I try to help them find their music, no matter what it is.  I have very strong relationships with the clients and the families I have worked with over the years.

I always told myself, if I ever work for someone, I’m going to pr, in the last 18ove a point and I’m never going to miss a day of work. So years I have been with Tierra, I’ve never missed a day. It doesn’t matter how good you are at your job, if you’re not there, you miss out, so I make it a point to always be there.”

#IAMTierra #wearetierra #wecandoanything

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