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Coworker Corner: Angie Hicks

Coworker Corner: Angie Hicks

If Angie Hicks had to sum up what makes Mercy Home a great place to work, it’s the support system in place for coworkers. It’s what made her enjoy being part of the Mercy Home family, and what made her return after spending a couple years in a different job.

“It’s amazing, the support you get here,” she said.

This benefit was something that became immediately clear to Angie when she started working at our Home in Admissions as an intern during her master’s program. After years working in a law firm as a clerk and paralegal, she decided she didn’t want to continue pursuing a career in the legal field. She instead got a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Roosevelt University, followed by a master’s degree in community counseling—the program that brought her to Mercy Home.

As her internship was wrapping up, a supervisor position opened up in Walgreen Home, where our younger high school girls live.

“It was suggested that I apply for that position, [but] I was a little timid at that time,” she remembered. “I applied, then I recanted … I was scared to challenge myself.”

But after some encouragement from Community Care Director Daniel Nelson, she decided to take the plunge—a decision she is glad she made nearly a decade later.

“It was a struggle in the beginning,” she said. “The girls taught me as much as I’ve been teaching them.”

After about a year in Walgreen Home, Angie decided to take a job at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, where she worked with young men, while also staying on at Mercy Home as a support staff member. Though she stayed in this position for two years, the differences between this work place and our Home were immediately obvious.

It’s just so rewarding because not only do you love that you had a part of this great transformation that the girls have … you also see them wanting better for themselves. It’s just rewarding to see the amazing work that we all do here at Mercy Home with the youth.

“The support system [there], it was totally different,” she said.

So when Tilisha Harrison called Angie to let her know that her old position was open in Walgreen Home, she jumped at the chance to return.

“I was more than excited when Tilisha asked me to come back,” she said. “I really missed just having people to talk to and connect with and laugh with, you know? And the girls as well. It was really the support system that made me come back.”

Now the program manager of Walgreen Home, Angie loves the interaction she gets to have with our young women every day.

“When I come here and I see the girls’ faces and they’re happy to see me and I’m happy to see them, it just makes the day go that much better,” she said. “They are the reason why I’m still here. I love them like they’re my own.”

And just like any proud parent, Angie loves seeing the young women in her program grow and succeed. She explained that watching them transform and learn to make better decisions is something she loves about her job.

“It’s just so rewarding because not only do you love that you had a part of this great transformation that the girls have … [you also see them] wanting better for themselves. It’s just rewarding to see the amazing work that we all do here at Mercy Home with the youth.”

And making a difference in the lives of young people who need support and guidance is something very close to Angie’s heart. While growing up, she experienced many of the same struggles Mercy Home’s kids did. She explained that it was overwhelming trying to figure out everything on her own.

“I didn’t have Mercy Home or any other support system,” she said. “And I just want to be able to say that I can help somebody else, because I didn’t have [that help].”

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