Edgewood attracts excellent professionals providing crucial services to our youth and families. This month, we are thrilled to share a Q&A with Dyresha Williams highlighting her work, commitment, and compassion at Edgewood.
Dyresha Williams, (She/Her/Hers) is the Senior Kinship Resource Coordinator, Transitional Housing Plus Case Manager and Trauma Informed Systems 101 Trainer for Edgewood Center for Children and Families, East Bay Region.
What drew you to Edgewood originally?
I was looking for work out of college and I found a position that sounded perfect for me in Edgewood’s San Francisco Kinship program. My supervisor, Cynthia Green, took a chance on a college student that went to college at Fresno State and was able to travel to the Bay Area every weekend to work until I graduated and was able to be here full time. I had about a month of school left. I was so grateful and 6+ years later, I’m still here.
What is your role at Edgewood?
Currently, Senior Resource Coordinator, Transitional Housing Plus Case Manager in the East Bay region. Beginning in March, I will become the Program Administration Coordinator for the Transitional Age Youth program in the San Mateo region.
What is your favorite part of working at Edgewood?
My favorite part about working at Edgewood include the many opportunities available for professional growth and personal development. I was able to grow into other positions within the Kinship Program and join the leadership team, like for the Trauma Informed Systems (TIS) Champions.
Does Kinship coordinate resources across regions and can you let us know a little more about that?
Yes. We currently serve four counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, and Solano. We help provide different services such as monthly Caregiver Workshops, youth activities, different caregiver support groups, and mainly provide resources that will help families in the areas that they need.
What services does the Transitional Housing Program provide?
In the Transitional Housing Plus Program, we work with the Transition Age Youth population, young people between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four who are in transition from state custody or foster care environments and are at-risk of homelessness. The services we offer provide 1:1 mentorship, case management, and monthly independent living skills workshops.
What are some areas of your work or accomplishments that you would like to highlight?
I was able to be part of a team that helped build our program for East Bay Kinship from the ground up and have sustained it on my own for a few years now!
How did you come into this work?
I came into this work while in college and learned a different way of advocating for system involved youth. Once I got to Edgewood, I learned how to also be a support to Caregivers as well.
What part of the Edgewood mission do you connect with?
I connect most with Edgewood’s mission to “ …support a positive transition to adulthood,” because I have a passion for supporting and advocating for the Transition Age Youth population.
How did you become involved with the Search Inside Yourself Learning Institute (SIYLI)? What is it and how are you incorporating that into your work at Edgewood?
I got involved with SIYLI, an organization that provides leadership training to individuals within non-profit corporations, because I not only enjoyed the healing that came from the workshops but also learned how to incorporate mindful practices that still help me at work today. As a TIS Champion I also wanted to bring this impactful healing work to Edgewood by offering workshops and incorporating the practices in the Healing Circle that we offer to staff.
What is a Healing Circle and what role are you playing with it?
It is a space for Edgewood staff to come together to support one another and gain self-awareness, self-compassion, and empathy skills to enhance their personal and professional growth. This will be done through art, mindfulness, and along with other healing tools. I was part of recreating the Healing Circle and still co-lead it.
Favorite place, random talent or fact, or anything else you would like to share with us about you.
I love to go check out comedy shows, poetry jams and wine tasting.
Do you have a favorite quote?