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Youth Services Employee of the Year Ryan Gaither

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Abraxas Academy uality resident care in safe, structured environments is a focus for programs throughout the Youth Services Division. For Morgantown Senior Treatment Supervisor Ryan Gaither, it is more than a focus it is a daily goal.

Ryan, a native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, graduated from Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in History in 2008. Although he knew his passion was to work with youth, he decided quickly it was not as a teacher. “I was always interested in working with troubled youth. I picked this over teaching because this allowed me to talk to kids about life and not just one particular subject,” said Ryan.

Not everyone is cut out for the daily challenges this line of work offers. Ryan says the best advice he can give to anyone interested in working with youth is always be willing to talk to the people that have done it before you, be open to feedback, and always be consistent with residents. To meet the Youth Services expectation of quality resident care in safe, structured environments, Ryan is committed to his daily goals to develop staff, make sure customers are satisfied with the services provided, and residents receive the respect and treatment they deserve.

Ryan started as a Life Skills Worker II at the South Mountain Youth Center. He went on to say what kept him working with youth since beginning with the Youth Services Division in January of 2007 was seeing the changes in the residents’ attitude and behavior over their time in the treatment programs. Seeing the troubled youth make the correct choices and turning around their negative behavior made Ryan want to continue his chosen career field. Because of his personal drive and interest in helping those around him, Ryan has received four promotions in less than five years with the Company. He is now a Senior Treatment Supervisor at Morgantown where he is responsible for the Detention Program. His drive to help is not just towards the residents in the program’s care but to all the residents, staff, and customers he interacts with every day. “Since the Detention Program is so new at Morgantown, I am constantly working with the staff on how to deal with all the daily issues that come up,” said Ryan. He was one of the main people instrumental for the implementation of the Detention Program at Morgantown and responsible for the continued success of the program for both residents and customers. Ryan’s passion for what he does is not only evident in the quality of care he and his staff provide to the residents in his program but the time he invests in his staff. “His ability to teach helped the supervisors as well as line staff raise their level of performance in how they ran the unit,” said Robert Monzon, Facility Director at Morgantown. “Ryan also leads by example, which allowed him to gain the respect of his staff.” Being able to develop staff that is new to this line of work and be able to make the residents feel safe and respected is Ryan’s proudest achievement. “We had an audit on our unit and they asked the residents if they felt safe and 100% of the residents said they felt safe and that the staff was able to take care of their needs.” Ryan went on to say, “I feel that this is very important because kids have to feel safe and that staff is able to address their concerns for them to do well in placement.”

GEO CARE SERVICES EMPLOYEES OFEMPLOYEES THE YEAR OF THE YEAR CORRECTIONAL HEALTH & BI

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3Q2012 GEOWorld

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3Q2012 GEOWorld

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