YWCA is passionate about women’s empowerment. We don’t just talk the talk, we encourage our staff to take part in our Women’s Leadership Institute.
Synita Brazil, Life Development Counselor with our NIA (Nurturing Independence and Aspirations) program, is a recent graduate of Quest, part of YWCA Greater Cleveland’s Women’s Leadership Institute.
Quest is ideal for new managers, experienced managers who have not had formal training, and those who could use support making the transition from individual contributor to a leader of others.
“I enjoyed it and would recommend Quest to other professional women who are looking to work on their personal and professional growth and build a great network,” said Synita on her experience with the program this past spring.
Synita has already begun putting what she learned in class to use in her career, as well as sharing the self-development tools she learned with the young people she works with.
For example, Synita has incorporated her learning into her work with NIA participants, many of whom have aged out of foster care and have experienced homelessness or other trauma.
A key takeaway from Quest is the idea that there are three gears of communication. The first gear is communicating your own point of view and motivations. The second is understanding and being able to articulate another person’s perspective. Finally, the third gear of communication is being able to explain the bigger picture.
Synita uses the first gear with the young people she works with so that they get to know and trust her to help them though whatever they are struggling with. As a counselor, she spends a lot of time in second gear, empathizing with young people and hearing their perspective.
Synita uses the third gear to empower young people to make decisions that will benefit them in the long run. Recently, she encouraged a young person to seek necessary medical care that would benefit them even though they were anxious about getting help. Third gear is an important communication tool because many of the young people she works with haven’t had the opportunity to develop the skills they need to make informed long term decisions.
One of the most important things Synita has taken away from Quest is the new friendships she has made. Synita and her fellow Quest graduates are already planning to get together again before the holidays.
“You can be vulnerable with them and they can be vulnerable with you. You are building personal relationships and helping each other reach your professional goals.”
Synita expressed a high level of gratitude to the YWCA’s Manager of Learning Programs, Heather Steranka-Petit for her leadership of the Quest program, “She is phenomenal and she did us a service by putting her all into this
Synita has been part of team YWCA for three years and we could not be more proud to see her continue to grow in her role within the organization.
If you are ready to take the next step in your career, you can learn more about the Women’s Leadership Institute HERE.